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Historical Society 




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Index, ........ v. 

Prospectus, ........ xxiii. 

Ol-FICHRS OF THE SOCIETY, . . . . . xxiv. 

Preface, ... ..... xxv. 

Inaugural Address, . . . Hon. Millard Eillmore, i 

The Origin of the Name of Buffalo, . William Ketehum, 17 

Correspondence on the Name of Buffalo. 

Letter, ..... Rev. Asher Wright, 37 
Letters, .... Nathaniel 7'. Strong, 38, 41 

The LAST OF THE Kah-IvWAHS (Poem), . . Darin' Cray, 43 

Buffalo Cemeteries, . ... William Hodge, 49 

Ode. — At the Forest Lawn Dedication, Rev. John C. Lord, D. D., 77 

The Braves' Rest, . . . William C. Bryant, Si 

Tin: Oi.n Black Rock Ferry, . . Charles I). Xor/on, 91 

ADDENDA. — Relating t<> the Name of Black Rock. 

Communication, . . . Hon. George R. Babcock, 110 

Communication, . . . Col. William A. Bird, 11 1 

Annual Address, . . . Rev. John C Lord, D. /)., 113 

ORu;i?r AM) Progress of the Society, . Oliver G. Steele, 131 

Buffalo in 1825. — Reprint of a pamphlet, . . S. Ball, ivi 

Letter. — Relating to the above, . Hon Gideon J. Ball. 151 

Reminiscences of Uuffalo and Vicinity, James I.. Barton, 153 
Execution of The Three Tiiayers, . Xathaniel Wilgus, 170 


Buffalo During the War of 1812, Hon. William Dorskrimer, 185 

A Wreck and Stockade, is. //. Stewart and 0. II. Marshall, 211 

Morris' Journal of Sullivan's Expedition, . . . 217 

Building and Voyage of the Griffon, . 0. II. Marshall, 253 

A History of the Israelites in Buffalo, . Rev. S. Falk, 2S9 

Founding of the City of Ararat, . Hon. Lewis F. Alien, 305 

Orlando Allen, .... William C. Bryant, 329 

Addenda. — Supplementing the above, .... 363 

Oliver Forward. — Life and Public Services, Hon. James Sheldon, 373 

The Grain Elevators of Buffalo, . Joseph Dart, 391 

The Buffalo Common Schools, . . Oliver G. Steele. 405 

The Fi-rst School House in Buffalo, . Cris/ield Johnson, 453 


Hon. Millard Fillmore. Steel plate. . . FronJ 

View of Buffalo Harbor — 1S25. Photo-Lithograph /m- simi 130 

Map of Buffalo — 1S25. Artotype fat simile, . . . 150 

Map of Niagara Riverand Environ*- 1 68$. Photo-zinc fac / vile 26S 
Orlando Allen, — Artotype Likeness, . . . . 


ABBOTT'S Corners, 212, 342.. 

Abbott, Seth, 377. 

Abbott's Adventures of La Salle, 264. 

Ab'mo, Point, 140. 

Adams, (fong), iSS, iSg. 

Adams, Major, 193, I94, 195. 

Adkins, Isabel, 435. 

Albany, 163, 166, 167, 171, 246, 

376, 373, 3S1. 
Albany County, 3S1. 
Algonquin Language, The, 261. 
AHegaiu Mountains 31. 
Allegany River, 13, 30, 23S, 248. 
Allen, Eli, 330. 
Allen, Gideon, 3^0. 
Allen, Henry F., 3&0. 
Allen, Hiram Pratt, 360. 
Allen, Holden, 102. 
Allen, Levi, 102, 153, 176. 
Allen, Hon. Lewis F., 54, 116, 132, 

133. L34. 305. 
Allen, Lucy A. (Mrs. Hopkins), 360. 
Allen, Orlando, S3, 137, 329 to 371, 

Allen, Orlando, Jr., 360. 
Allen, Mr-^. Orlando,' 176. 
Allen, Sarah ]., 360. 
Allen, William K., 360. 
Alps, The; 14. 
Altman, Abraham, 300. 
Altman, Mr>. Abraham, 302. 
Altman, Jacob, 29S, 209. 
Altman, Samuel, 291. 
American Kthnological Society, 31, 
American 1 lali, 134. 
Amherst, Sir Jeffrey, 215. 
Amsterdari 1 Ycedeidmrgh), 8. 
Aadastaguerfcnons, The, 28. 
Andrew-, Colin, 214. 
Andrews, Samuel, 435. 
Angus, Lieutenant, tqo, \<)i. 
Annin. Joseph, 1 1 2, 162. 
Apalachian Mountains, 33. 
Appomattox Kiver, 33. 
" Ararat," Cily of Refuge," 115, 116, 

120, 305 to 32s. 
Armstrong, 1 >r. George, S., 137. 
Armstrong, Thomas, 33S, 
" Ash breeie," 164, 
\-he. I horna-i, 20, 41. 

Aspinwall, Lieutenant-Colonel, 203, 

Astor, John Jacob, 106. 

Astride Town, 148. 

Atkins, F. \\\, 422. 

Atkins, Mrs. Rudolph, 63. 

Atlantic Ocean, The, 35. 

Auglaise River, 15G. 

Aurora, N. Y., 83. 

Aurora, Ohio, 374, 375. 

•" Avenue,'' The, 55. 

BABCOCK, Rev. Deodatus, 413. 

Babcock, Geo.R., no, 132, 133,412. 

Back, Captain, 33. 

Bailey, J. Nash, 332. 

Baker, A. L., 132. 

Baker, Moses, 414, 422. 

Ball, Gideon J., 39, 151, 152. 

Ball, S., 139, 151. 

Bancroft the Historian, 263, 264. 

Bank of Buffalo, the old, 355. 

Hank of Niagara, 142. 377. 

Barclay, Commodore, 94. 

Barker, Judge, 383. 

" Barker's," 342. 

Barker's Tavern, 51. 

Barker, Zenas \\\, 377, 410, 435. 

Barton, Benjamin, 162. 

Barton, James 1.., 153, 177. 

Barton, Joseph A., 177. 

Barton. Major, loO. 

Ba»s Islands, 281, 

Batavia, 51, 434. 

Battery, The Grand, 53, 64. 

Battery Swift, 92. 

Baxter, Daniel, 199. 

Baxter's, 105. 

Baxter, Wallace, 32s. 

Beals, J. \\\, 422." 

Bean, Aaron, 420. 

Beaver Creek, (>, 7, 20, 305, 327 

Beaver Island, 305. . . . 

Beaver, The (vessel), 213, S16, 

Peii Swamp, 238. 

Bemis, Mr., '05. 

l'.emis, Mrs. .^urelia, 1 77. 

Bennett, Isaae II.. 435- 

Bennett, James. 415. 

Bennett, I Ion. 1 >. S.. \oi 

Ber>»man, Simon, 200. 301, 



Bergman, Mrs. Simon, 302. 
Berith Shalom Congregation, 301. 
Bernheimer, Elias J., 291, 293, 296. 
Bcrnheimer, Mrs. E. J., 73. 
Bernstein, Rev. Philip, 296. 
Berry, Major Jack, J 75, 367. 
Berrytown, Jack, 40. 
Best, Robert H., 177. 
Beth El (Bethel) Congregation, 72, 

295, 296. 
Beth Zion Congregation, 73, 296, 

297, 300. 
Bicklle, Captain, 201, 203, 205. 
Biddle, Lieutenant, 207. 
" Bidwell Farm" Burying Ground, 

The, 57 ; 
Bidwell, General, 63. 
Bidwell, Mrs. Benjamin, 177. 
Biesenthal, Fanny, 300. 
Biesenthal, Salomon, 299. 
Big Buffalo Creek, The, 12, 140. 
Bigelow, Rev. Albert, 71. 
Big Kettle, 371. 
Bird Island, 94, 103, no, III, 164, 

253. 370. 
Bird, William A., 32, 55, 57, 66, 92, 

in, 1S7, 311. 
Bird & McPherson, 171. 
Bishop, Colonel, 66, 92, 192, 193. 
Black, Hon. Jeremiah S., 3S9. 
Black Rock, 9, 28, 55, 92, 93, 94, 

no, 116, 163, 164, 16S, 174, 1S6, 

1S7, 190, 194, 303, 309, 376, 37S, 

3S0, 3S5, 409. 
Black Rock Burying Ground, 55, 56, 

Black Rock dam, r 71. 
Black Rock, Lower, 163. 
Black Rock, The State Village of, 

" Black rock," The, 94, no. 
Black Rock, Upper, 162. 
Blakeslie, Lieutenant-Colonel, 194, 

195. *9 6 - 
Bliss, Colonel John, 69. 
Block, Moritz, 29Q. 
Blossom House, The, 413. 
Blossom, Colonel Ira A., 171. 
Bockes, Abraham, 3S1. 
Boon, Captain Hawkins, 225. 
Boston (Erie Co,), 170. 1S2. 
Boerstler, Lieutenant-Colonel, I9T. 
Bois Blanc Eland, 2S1. 
Botsford, Rufus, Too. 
Bough ton Hill, 260. 
Boughton, Lieut. -Colonel, 104, loo- 


io:>, 200. 


Boughton, Sergeant, 1S7, 199. 
Bowen, Daniel, 426. 
Bowen, Jonathan, 377. 
Boyd, Lieutenant, 242, 243, 244, 24: 
Brace, Lester. 99, 101, 103, 104, 107 
* J 77. 

Mrs. L., 177. 

Orange, 100, 101. 

General Hugh. 153. 

Joseph, 237, 245, 364. 
Brassart, ( Interpreter), 261. 
Brinkerhof, Abraham, 2^2. 
Bristol, C. C, 176. 
Bristol, Han, 176. 
Bristol, Mrs. Dan., 176. 
Bristol, Dr. Moses, 422. 
Broadhead, Colonel, 234. 
Brock, Henry, 298, 299, 300. 
Brock, Lewis M., 29S, 299, 300. 
Brock, Mathilda, 300. 
Brown, Henry, 296. 
Brown, General Jacob 

206, 207, 20S. 
Bronx River, X. V., 39S. 
Brown, James L, 422. 
Bruyas' Dictionary of Mohawk 
Bryant, Wni. Cullen, 264. 
Bryant, Win. C, Si, 329. 
Buckhorn Island, 306. 
Buckle's History of Civilization, 4 
" Buck tails," The, 3S3. 
Buffalo, Bradford and Pittsburgh R 


Buffalo, Burning of, S, 165. 1 07. 
Buffalo Cemetery Association, 50. 
Buffalo City Cemetery A.- 

Buffalo City, when incorporated, o. 
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, 22 

23, 24, 204, 37«). 
Buffalo Creek, 5, 17, 20. 32, 35, 5: 

141, 160, 334. 338, 33 ). 4 « 
Buffalo Creek Reservation, 350. 
Buffalo, distance from various points 

" Buftaloe Creek *' District, 6, 
Buffaloes Creek, no. 
Buifaio Emporium, The, 144. 
Buffalo, first attack on 
Buffalo Gazette. The. i». 

B'Oi'.ilo ( .opcl Advocate, 
Buffalo II uhor, 14?. "'" 
Buffalo 1 [istorical S 

1 14, 1 16, ItS, 1 10. 121 

I2S, 131, 35S. 
Buffalo in iSll. 575. 







VI 1. 

Buffalo, Indian names of, 4, 20 to 

24, 37 to 42. 
Buffalo Indian Reservat'n, The, 147, 


Buffalo Insane Asylum, The, 35S. 

Buffalo Journal, The, 119. 

Buffalo, Mail Facilities of, (in 1S25), 

*' Buffalo Meat" story, 4, 37. 
Buffalo, Name of, 3, 171042, 114, 

Buffalo, North, 162. 
Buffalo, Original Plan of, 19. 
Buffalo, Original Township of, 409. 
Buffalo Orphan Asylum, 35S. 
Buffalo Patriot, The, 315, 322, 363. 
Buffalo Pilot, The, 4, 22. 
Buffalo Plains, 52, 63, 67, 193. 
Buffalo Public Buildings in 1825, 143. 
Buffalo rebuilt in 1S14, 166. 
Buffalo, Shipping at (in 1S25), 147. 
Buffalo, Stage lines at (in 1825), 147. 
,l Buffalo Stamps," 31. 
Buffalo Streets, Early names of, 10, 

15, 145, 151- 
Buffalo, The (Canal boat), 3S5. 
Buffalo, Town of, when established, 

8, 19. 
Buffalo, Early range of the. 3, 25. 
Buffalo Village, when incorporated, 

8. 19. 
Bull, Captain, 193. 
Bull, Judge, 109. 
Burnt Ship Bay, 306. 
Burt, Mrs. Mary P., [77. 
Burwell, Dr. Bryant, 415. 
Busti, Paul, 97, 99. 
Butler, Colonel, 156, 22 r, 223, 24S. 
Butler, The tory, 239. 245. 

CALDWELL; Samuel, 422, 427. 
Caledonia, The Schooner, 1S8, 1S9, 

California, 359. 

Calleiuler, Deacon Amos, 410,413. 
Callender, S. X., 19S. 413, 422. 
Callender place, The, 95. 
_Camp, Anna, 330. 
Camp, Major John (jr., 413. 
Camp, Wyatt, 413. 
Can.d, Great Western (Erie canal 

called ), 107. 
Canandaigua (Cannandaquari), 18, 

163; iS(i, 242. 
Canandaqua (Canandaigua) Lake, 

241. 245. 

Candaia (Appletown), 240. 
Cannestoga Wagons, 349. 
Canoga, 371, 
Carignan Selieres, 256. 
Carner, Stephen, 417. 
Caroline, The Steamer, 93. 
Cape Fear River, 32. 
Carter, Silas, 95, 96. 99. 
Caryl, Benjamin C, 177. 
Case, Manning, 416. 
Case, S. S., 422. 
Caskey, Mr., 52. 
'Cass, Governor Lewis, 263. 
Cass, Lieutenant, 236. 
Catfish Creek, 214, 215. 
Catherine's Town (Katareen's, etc.), 

238, 248. 
Cattaraugus County, 3S1. 
Cattaraugus Creek, 19, 23. 
Cattaraugus Reservation, 37, 75, 

339- 350. 
Cayuga Creek, 264, 266, 267, 269. 
Cayuga Lake, 87, 246, 371. 
Cayuga Nation, The, 51. 
Cayuga Settlement, 246. 
Cayugas, The, 261, 367. 
Central School, Buffalo, 304. 422, 

423, 428. 
Chamberlain, Sylvester, 422. 
Champlaiu, Lake, 35. 
Chapin. Cyrenius, 51, 161, 189, 190. 

194 to. 199, 33° to 33°. 340 to 347, 

366, 369, 375, 377, 3S3, 4io, 4 ii ; 
Chapin, Cyrenius, Nephew of, 34S. 
Chapin & Pratt. 343. 
Chapin, Dr. Daniel. 67. 
Chapin, Gotham, 34r, 345. 
Chapin place, The, (17. 
Chapin, Seth. 314. 
Chapin, William W\, 63, 68. 
Charlevoix, 28, 32, 34. 
Chautauqua County, 3S1. 
Chemung, 230, 2^4, 23?. 23S, 249. 
Chester, Rev. Albert T., D. D.. 137. 
Chicago, 15^. 

Chippewa, SS, 159, 160. 306, 363. 
Chippewa, Battle of, 20Q. 
Chippewa Cte.k, 25S, 204. 
"Churches," The. II, 
Cilley, Colonel, 220 to 250. 
Cincinnati. 15*. 
Cinices (Seiiec: « 21 5, 
•'Circle. The," 40, 
Clairambault Collections, 256, 
City and County 1 fall, 50. 
Clarence, (Erie Co.), 00. 344- MS« 



Clarke, Charles E., 59. 
Clarke, "Governor," ^07. 
Clarke, Dr. J. W., 415, 417. 
Clarke, Rev. Walter, D. D., 132, 

Clary, Joseph, 54, 41 I, 
Cleveland, Ohio, 171. 
Clinton, DeWitt, 381,431. 
Clinton, General, 221 to 250. 
Clinton, Governor, 3S5. 
Clinton, Geo. W., 132, 133. 
" Clintonians," 3S3. 
Cochrane, Captain Gavin, 215. 
Cochrane, John, 51. 
Cohen, Rev. I. X., 300. 
Concert Hall (Townsend Hall), 292. 
Coit. George, 375, 379, 410. 
Cold, Captain, 349. 
Cold Spring, 52, 117, 411. 
Colored school, Buffalo, 429. 
Collins, John, 63. 
Colman, John, 415. 
Colt, Peter H., 186. 
Colton Farm, (Duel farm) The, 344, 

Cone, Henry, 298, 299, 300. 
Cone, Mrs. Henry, 302. 
Conesus,(Kaneysas or Yucksea, Kan- 

igsas or Chocksett), 242, 245. 
Congdon, Dr., 332. 
Conjockety Creek, (Conjaquadies, 

&c), 58, 6r, 62, 64, 66, 104, 106, 

163, 164, 1S7, 190, 192, 202. 
Conjockety, Philip, (Chief), 336, 357. 
Connecticut, State of, 51. 
Connecticut, The Schooner, 186. 
Conti, Governor, 2S. 
Conty, Fort (Conti). 272. 
Cook, Raphael, 376. 
Cooper, Dr., 112. 
Cornerstone of "Ararat," 315, 3 1 / 

Cornplanter, 6, 7, 12, 20, 349, 350 

Courtlandt, Colonel, 220 to 250. 
Court Week in 1808, 165. 
Covington, General, 15?. 
Crary, Captain, I S I . 
Crawford, Colonel, 155. 
Crawford, Rev. Gilbert, 124. 
Cresop, Colonel, 177. 
Crisis (Financial) of 1537, 173,426, 
Cronk, James, 308, 377. 
Crooked Lake, 247. 
Crow, John, 1 1. 
Crow Street, 1 1, 50. 
I Cummings, Captain, 193. 
I Curtess, Lettuce, 330. 

I DAHLMAN, Louis, 292. 
j Darrow Block, 1S0. 
J Dart, Joseph, 391. 
! Davis, Captain, 219. 
i Davis, Isaac, 376. 
I Davison, Mrs. Sally, 177. 
| Day, David F., 132. 
j Day, David M.. 120. 
I Dayton, Colonel, 250. 
i Dean. Orange, 1 02. 
j Dearborn. Abner, 240. 
; Dearborn, General. 399. 
j Dearborn, Lieutenant-Colonel, 221 
! 224, 246. 
, DeCouagne, 214. 
DeKstaing, Count. 249. 
DeForest, Cyrus H., 57. 
DeKay, Mr., 34. ' 
Delaware and North St. Bury in 

Ground. 54, 63. 
Delaware County, N. Y.. jSi. 
Delaware River. The, 210. 
Delaware, Stale of. 304. 
Democratic Review, ;-■ u 
Denbon the Squatter, 327, 
DeN'onville, Marquis, 255. 2 
Desbeeker, Samuel, 2 92, 2 
. Destroy Town, 3^7, 371. 

35 ». 354. 35 f) - 
Copperplate Engraving, — The first 

in Buffalo, 151. 
Cotton, Fli/a, 4 10. 
Cotton, Elizabeth, 177. 
Cotton, George, I 77. 
Cotton, Lester II., 1 77 
Cotton, Mary, 177. 
Coiton, Captain Rowland, 67. 
Cotton, Mrs. Ward. 63. 
Courcelles, Expedition of, 261. 
Court House Square, The, 01. 
Court 1 Ioiise, The old, 1 io. $75 

147, 154. 150. 213, 2M« 

Detroit, 9- 

Detroit Harbor, 2S6, 
Detroit River, The. 270. 2?i, 2$S 
1 ►ill's House, Burning 
Division Streets, Noil 

1 1. 
Dorsheimer, William. 132, 1 33« ' ; - 

' s > . 

Dodge, Alvin, 41 I. 

Douglas Battery, The, :-•-'• 
^ fain, 203 



Douglas' Store at Fort Erie, 103. 
Dox, Captain, 57. 
Drew, John, 416. 
Drinker, Israel, 296. 
DrummoiBZ, Colonel, 204. 
Drummond, General, 195, 201, 202, 

203, 205, 206, 209. 
Dubois, Bishop, 125. 
Dubois' Regiment (Sullivan's Expe- I 

dition), 250. 
Dudley, Major Wra. C. I So. 
Duel farm, (Colton farm) The, 344. 
" Dulittle, Calib," Dreadful death 

of, 11S. 
Dun and Bright (Oxen), 3-1 2. 
Duncan, Major Alexander, 215, 
Dwight, Dr. Timothy, 20, 96, no, 

Dutchess County, N. Y., 381. 

EAGLE Tavern, The, 115, 200, | 

3i7i 3S2, 3S5, 3S6. 
Earll, Jonas, Jr., 3S1. 
East Bloom fie Id Horse, 199. 
East Granby, Conn., 374. 
Easton, Pa., 217, 223, 249. 
Eckford, Henry, 93, 104. 
Efner, E. D., 103, 107, I96. 
Eighteen-Mile Creek, 23,211,212, 

214, 215. 
Elevators in Buffalo, Capacity of, [ 

(1S65), 403. 
Elevators, Invention of, 392 to 39S. ' 
Eleven- Mile Creek, 69. 
EU,The, 4, 25. . 
Ellicoti, Benjamin, 24. 
Ellicott. Joseph, 8, 11, 24, 51, 97. 

99, 134. 144, 161, 377, 434. 
Ellicott's Mi!!>, near Baltimore, 396. , 
Ellicott Square, 82. 
Elliott, Captain, 20S. 
Elliott, Lieutenant, 1S9. 
Elmira, 154. 
Emory, Mr., 4 1 5. 

Episcopal Church Charity Founda- 
tion, 56. 
Episcopal Church Service, — the first 

in Forest Lawn, 62. 
Erie Canal, The, 107, 115, 140. 149, 

i63, 169, 310, 312, 37S, 3S1, 3S2, 

Erie County, U). 165, 171, 377. 
Erie I Jistriet, 101. 
Frie, Fake, 27, 28,39, 82, too. [40, 

159, 105, 171, 211, 2i(), 253, 264, 

2o(), 217, 2'iq. 272, 2-^, 27s 270. 1 

Erie Lake (continued), 280, 282, 283 
312, 31S, 334, 373, 3S0, 384, 407. 
Erie or Cat Nation, 12, 23, 28, 82. 
Erie, Pa., 160, 161, 164, 263, 332. 
Erie, Sortie of Fort, 69. 
Erocoise (Ontario) Fake, 32. 
Errieronons, The, 28. 
Evans, Charles W., 401. 
Evans, John B., 69. 
Evans, Oliver, 392 to 398, 401, 404. 
Evans, Rev. Mr., 224. 
Experiment Pier, The, 169. 

FAIRFIELD, (Conn.). 224. 

Falconwood, 328. 

Falck, Abraham, 299. 

Falk, Rev. S., 2S9. 

Fanning, Captain, 203, 205. 

Fargo, William G., 300. 

Farmer's Brother, 12, 51, 82, 87, 

iSS, 193, 194, 367, 368. 
Farmer's Hotel, The, 416. 
Farmer's Point, 12, 336, 368. 
Fauna Boreal i Americana, 2>3- 
Fay, Colonel, 03. 
Ferry at Black Rock, 91 to 112. 
Fillmore, Rev. Glezen, 126, 182. 
Fillmore, Millard, I, 21, 117, 122, 

U3, l 35, 137. 3 6 4. 414- 
Flascher, Colonel, 204. 
Flersheim, Mr., 29. 
Flint Hill, 04, 66,' 67, 375. 
Florida, State of, 359. 
" Fobes Lot," The. 410. 
Fogg, Captain, 224. 
Fontaine, Lieutenant, 20 1. 
Foote, Dr. Thomas M., 22. 
Forest Fawn Cemetery, 52, 53, 50. 

63, 64. 
Forest Fawn Cemetery Association, 

59. to- 
Forest Fawn, Ode at dedication. 77. 
Forest Sieur De Fa, 270. 
Fort Adams. 92. 
Fort Conty (Niagara), 272. 
Fort Defiance, 156. 
Fort Erie, 5, 65, 69, 103. ioS 

161, 1S5, 1 So. 200, 201, 203. 207. 
Fort Fronlenac. 254, 250 257, 250. 

204, 20<), 272, 273, 274, 275. 270. 

27S. 270, 285, 286, 
Fort C.voige, 309, $63, 
Kort John-sou, 215. 
Fort Miami, S7, 153, 150. 150. 
Foil Niagara. 153. 154,150.213.2-0. 

(Cunti, 272.) 



Fort Ontario, (now Oswego), 215. 

Fort Pitt. 234. 

Fort Porter, 66, 70, 112. 1S7, 253, 

Fort Recovery, I 56. 

Fort Schlosser, 92, 213. 

Fort Stanwix (now Rome), 5, 6, 7, 

17, 20. 
Fort St. Louis, 255. 
Fort Tompkins, 1S7. 190. 193. 195. 
Fort Washington (Cincinnati), 156. 
Fort Wayne, 158. 
Forty-Fort, 220, 224. 
Forward, Abel, 374. 
Forward. -Chauneey, 374, 3S9. 
Forward. Dryden, 389 
Forward, Julia, 374. 
Forward, Oliver, 373, to 390. 
Forward, Rennsselaer, 374, 389. 
Forward, Samuel, 374. 
Forward, Walter, 374. 3SS, 3S9. 
Four- Mile Creek, 95. 
Fourth. Thomas, 435. 
Fo\, Mrs. Esther Pratt, -177, 4 TO - 
Fox. George W., 37S. 
Franciscans, The, 22, 256, 272, 276, 

277. 2 7 S, 2S3, 2S5. 
Frankfort-on-the-Main, 291^. 
Franklin, Robert (colored), 199. 
Franklin Square, 50, 51, 54, 63. 
Franquelin, [ean Baptiste Louis, 

267, 268 
Fraser, Major Donald (Black Wolf). 

56. 106, '107, 352, 363. 
Frazier, Lieutenant, 207. • 
Fredonia, X. V., 330. 
Freeland, Garrett, 435. 
Free Sons of Israel, Independent 

Order of, 302. 
French and English War. The, 306. 
Frenchman's Creek, 191. 
" French Relations," The, 21, 23. 
French's Gazetteer, 112. 
Friedman, Mrs. William, 302 
Friend, Henry. 29S. 
Frisby, Gideon, 377. 
Frontenac, Count, 253. 254. 274. 
Frontier Guard-, The. 3S0. 
Fuller. S., 412. 

GAIXLS, General Benjamin, 203, 

Gallatin. Albert. 31. 
Gallinee, 2^0. 
Galudia, I)., 4^. 4--- 
Gahidia, Rev Mr.. 3-3. 
Gardner, X. IF. 4»5. I»~. 1 --' 

Gamier, Father J alien, 2O0, 26r. 

Garnsworth's regiment(SuUivajTs Ex- 
pedition), 250. 

Geddes' Report of Survey, Hi. 

General Hospital, The, 20,5. 

Genesee iChene>ee), 242, 243. 

Genesee, County of, 19, 165. 

Genesee Flats, The, 244. 

Genesee River, The, 95, 2^9, 269, 
270, 277. 

Geneva (Kaunadasaga), 241, 246, 


Georgia, State of, 250. 

Ghent, Treaty of, 10S. 

Gibbs, Major. 224. 

Gilbert Family, Captivity of the, 1 5. 
I Gillett, Joshua, 435, 436*. 
■ Gilmore, The Ferryman, 97. 
'• Gladwin, The (vessel), 216. 
: Godman (quoted), 34. 
\ Goodell, Deacon Jabez, 416. 
1 Gordon's Gazetteer, 112. 
j Grand Island. 179, 275, 305 to 32S. 

Grand River, Canada, 95. 139. 
I Granger, Erastus, 18, 63, 150, iSS. 

a75> 37 f> . 377- 
I Granger farm, The, 64. 

Granger, Lieutenant-Col., 194,193. 

Granger, Rev. James X., 50. 

Granger, Sally, 375. 
I Granger's Creek. 412. 

Granger. Selh, 52. 

Granger, Warren, 59, 375. 

Gray, David, 43. 

Great Marten Pake, 33. 
"Great Slave Lake, 33. 

Great Tree (Indian Chief), 242. 

Green Pay, (l.e Grand Baie), 25'). 

( ireene, \\ ilKani IP, 137. 

( .reelis ille, ( 'hio, 157. 

Griffin, 1 larmon, 177 

Gritiin, Hiram, 177. 

Gritiin, The, (see Griffon), lio, 213. 

Griffon, The, 253, 288, — 

Griswuhl, Ilenrv, 4i>. 

VitWtK Lie. 2K1* 

( Irosvenor vV I leaoock, 376. 

Grosvenor, Selh, aoo, 

-Guide P^a.d Load." T 55 - - 

5-S, 95, 1 
Gulf of Mexico, The, \$ 
;• Gulf Load."' The, 5S 
Gull inland, 27 
< iuiubiivsky, NIt., 301. 

1 1 \i ;( i A U I !.u,u- to.) 



Haldeman, General, 221. 

Halifax, Canada, 105. 

Hall, Asaph, 410. 

Hall, Brigadier-General Amos, 

195, 196, 199. 
Hall, Hon. Nathan K., 133, 

419. 42i. 422. 
Hamburg (Germany), 291. 
Hainer, General, 156. 


Hamilton, Colonel, 157. 
Hand, General (Sullivan' 

turn), 224 to 250. 
Handy, Rev. Mr., 126. 
Hardison, The Ferryman 
Hardison, Mrs., 97. 
Harmon. Captain R., 199 
Harris Hill, 344. 346. 
Harris, Mrs. Mary, 177. 
Harris, Willaim, 415. 
Harrison, President Wm. 
Hart, Eli, 200, 369, 376, 377. 
Hart & Lav, ^6<). 
Haskell, John; 69. 
Hawkins, R. \\\, 41S, 419. 
Hawley, Jesse, 3S4. 
Hawiey, Elias S., 427. 
Heacock, Mrs. Abby, 177. 
Heacock, Reuben Ik, 413. 
Hebrew Union Benevolent 


97. ioj 



tion, 301. 

Hebrew Union College, 302. 
Held, Sam., 292. 
Helms, Samuel, I97, I99. 
Hennepin, Father Louis, 254 to 2SS. 
" Hennepin's Rock.'* 266 
Henry, Patrick, 147. 
fl'en>ha\v, J s osfiua, 377. 
Hevwoocl, RuHsel IL, ^4. 
Hildreth. Dr. S. 1'.. 31'. 
Hill, P. C. 95". 
Hill, John, 377. 

Historical Magazine, The American, 
IS, 21. 

Historical Society of Michigan. 263. 
Hitchcock, Alexander, 377. 
Hobart, Bishop, 12?. 315. 
IL.Klge, Benjamin, Sr., 63. 
Hodge, Benjamin, Jr., 63, 177, i<)9. 

305. 411. 412, 417. 
Hodge Family. The, 58. 
Hodge, l.oren, lO" 1 ,. 
Hodge, Philander, 177. 
Hodge, Nfiv, Sarah, 177. 
ll^-i A c, Valorus, 177. 
[lodge, William, Sr., 63, 07, 411, 


Hodge, Mrs. William, Sr., 177. 
Hodge, William Jr., 177. 
Hofeller, Siegmund, 299. 
Holland Land Company, S, 17, 51, 

52, 134, 149- l6 9. «7Ii 33L 377, 

Holland Purchase, The, 14, 24, 96. 

97, 100, 107, 21 1. 
Holy Angel--, C lunch of the, 55. 
Honeoye Lake (Anyoye), 23, 245. 
Hopkins, Hon. Nelson K., 360. 
Hopkins, Otis R., 377. 
Hopkins, lion. T. A., 70, 96, 194. 
"Horn breeze," 164, 365. 
Hosmer, Rev. Dr., 133. 
Hospital, Sisters o( Charity, 417. 
Howcutt, John, 132. 
Howes, Mrs. Sahrina, 177. 
Hoysington, Job, 52, 53, 199. 
Hoyt Building, 295. 
Hoyt, Joseph 1)., 50, 199, 416. 
Hubley, Colonel, 250. 
Hudson County, X. V., 3S1. 
Hudson River, The, 378. 
Hull, Absalom, 196. 
Hull, Brigadier-General, 187. 
Hull, Captain, 53, 1S7, 193, 196. 
I lumber, The River, 257. 
Huron, Lake, 269, 2S3. 
Huron Language, The, 261. 
Hurons (Kiskakons) The, 2S5. 
Hydraulics, The, 425. 

ILLINOIS Indian-, 27. 

Illinois,- Lake (now Michigan), 269, 

Illinois River, 27, 29, 2S7. 
Illinois, State of, 27, 171. 
Independence Day, 1779 (Sullivan's 

Army I, 222 

Indiana, Slate of, 27. 

Indian Council, - s i. 

Indian difficulties in Ohio, 155, 175. 

Indian war millet. 223. 

Indian names lor Buffalo, 4, 6, 20. 

Indian Reservation, 147, 160, 342 

Indians oi C.\\\.\A.\, 54. 

Indian Spy, 300 to 30$. 

Indian (Seneca) Village, The, S3, 

" Infant," 1 he. >t. 
Inger*oll,, 211, 213. , 
[ngersoll, i.. S., 213.. 
[tiger- ill, John, S13 
IngcrsnU, l< S.. 212 3 



Inland Lock Navigation Co., 159. 
" Iron Hand," 255. 
Iroquois Language, The, 261. 
Iroquois, or Six Nations, 26, 27, 28, 
82, S3, 276, 277, 334, 337, 349, 

3 6 7- 
Irvine, General, iS, 19. 
Irvine, Dr. \V. H., 18, 19, 30. 
Irving, N. V., 3S. 
Irving, Washington (quoted), 34. 
Isaacs, Rev. Mr., 295. 
Israelites, occupations in Buffalo, 303. 

JACKSON, General, 167. 
Jacobsohn, Rev. Mr., 301. 
Jacobsohn (Jacobson) Society, The, 

73, 292, 293, 296, 297. 
Jacob's Plains, 220. 
Jail, The old, 19S. 
James, John IL, 32. 
James River, The, 33. 
Jay, Chief Justice, 15S. 
Jay's Treaty, 158, 159. . 
Jefferson, Thomas, 397. 
Jemison, Mary, 88. 
Jesuits, The, 22, 114, 260, 261, 2S5. 
Jewett, Elarn R., 67. 
Jewish Cemeteries in Buffalo, 292. 
Jewish Settlement in Buffalo, 290. 
Jewish Settlement in United States, 

Jewish Worship, 291, 292. 
Jews, — first public worship in Buf- 
falo, 592. 

Jimeson, Jacob, 357. 

Johnson, Mr., 196. 

Johnson, Captain, 1S6. 

Johnson, Dr. Lbene/.er, 1 18. 

Johnson, Hank, 353. 

Johnson, John, 435. 

Johnson, Sir William, 213, 215. 

Johnston Burying Ground, 40. 

Johnston, Captain Win., 49, 50, 52. 

Johnston, John (or Jack), 51. 

Jolliet, Louis, 254, 267, 285. 

" Jones Tract." The, 162. 

[ones and 1'airUh. 338, 339, 370. 

Jones, Captain Horatio, 337. 338, 

37o. 371- 
Junes, Lieutenant, 219. 
Jones, Miles, 334. 
Jones, Mrs. Elizabeth, 176. 
Josephs, Joseph, 50, 
" Journt.-\ through Ne York," Dr. 

Dwight's, <)<k' 
luba Storrs & Co., 68, 376. 

Jubilee Spring, The, 58. 
Judson, Mrs. Sally, 177. 
Juniata River (west branch of the 
Susquehanna), 223, 225. 

KANAWHA River, 31. 

Kane, Robert, Icj6, 197. 

Kankakee River, 29. 

Keene, Robert, 199. 

Keep, N. D., 199. 

Keese, George, 331. 

Keese, William, 343. 

Keiser, Leopold, 298, 299, 300. 

Kellogg, Silas D., 307, 309. 

Kentucky, State of, 32. , 

Kentucky Riflemen, 66. 

Kesher shel Barzel, 302. 

Ketchum, Jesse, 176. 

Ketchum, William, 42, '.14, 36S 

41°, 434- 

Kibbe, Mrs. S., 176. 

Kimball, Captain, 233. 

Kimberly & Water-, 50. 

King, Captain, 190, 191. 

King, John A., 381. 

Kingman, Mahlon, 401. 
j King of the Outlaws, The, 307. 
I King's Bridge, N. Y., 398. 

King's Ferry, 224. 

Kingsley, Silas, 426. 
i Kirby, Colonel, 97. 341. 
1 Kith, George, 435. 

Kitchen, 1 he New England, 118. 

Kohn, Samuel, 301. 
; " Kremlin Aristocracy," 383. 

Kremlin block. The, 413. 

Kremlin 1 1.all, 208. 

Kurtz, David, 296. 

LACKAWANNA. 224, 220. 

Lacy, John T., 56. 

Ladies' Si/wmg Society I Jo\\ i-l . | 2 

La Fayette, (Jen., 115. 310, 3S6,3$; 

La Fleur, Sergeant, 277. 

La Forge, The Blacksmith, 273. 

La Glai/v. 34. 

La Hon tan, Baron, 27, 264. 265 

Lake of the- Wood,.. 153. 
I Lake Superior, 153. 

La Motte, Sicur tie, 255 I 
I Lancaster, CN. V.K 

Lamlon, Joseph, 37 1 '. 4 In - 

Landau's Tavern, (now the Mansi 
House) K>1, 1 12, ;;,- 

La Salle, Cavolier >:. . v : s | k«54 
to 2SS. 



Miami (Miaraie) River, 34. 
Michaels Brothers, 303. 

Michaels, Louis, 299. 

Michigan (Illinois), Lake, 292, 86. 

Michigan Peninsula, 283. 
Michigan, Stale of, 91. 
Michilimackinac (see Missillimack- 

inac), 15S. 
Milan, Ohio, 402. 
Miles, Peter E., 414- 
Mile Strip, The, 18, 55,99, ill, 161. 
- 162. 

Miller, Frederick, 17/. 
Miller, Major Frederick, 100, 101, 

1 86, 346. 411. 
Miller, Lawrence, 221. 
Miller's Tavern, 101. 
Miller's Ferry, 96, 112. 
Minhag, German, Polish and Portu- 
guese, 294. 
Minisings, 225. 
Minnirdnk, 154. 

Missillimackinac, 285, 236, 2S7. 
Mississippi River, The, 23, 28, 31, 

25.1, 285. 2S7. 
Mobile Bay, 255. 
Mohawk Castle, 246. 
Mohawk River, The, 159. 246, 375. 
Mohawks, The, 261, 365. 
Mohawk Valley, The, 154. 
Monongahela River, The, 23, 30, 

Montreal, 275. 306. 
Montgomery County, S, 19. 
Montgomery, General Richard, 19. 
Moore, A. C., 415, 41 ?. 4^2. 
Moorehead, Thomas. 27. 
Moose, The, 4, 25. 
Morgan, Major (Col.), 201, 202. 
Moritz. Mark. 291, 295. 
Morton, Thomas, ^2. 
Moulton, Joseph \V., },}2, 344. 
Mound, Kah-Kwah Burial, 82. 
Mound, The, 64. 
Mountain Ridge, 258. 259, 260, 266, 

270, 276. 
Mullett House, The, 117. 
Murray, Colonel, 194. 
Myer,'Col')nel (General) A. J., 212. 
Myers, , [99. 

N'AMFS of Nations ai 1 Cities, 1, 9. 

National Advocate, T, \ 310, 312. 
Navy Island I Rg Canoe;, 214. 3">7- 
Neshit, Jnine-, I99. 

Neuter (Neutral) Nation, 12, 43. 
New Amsterdam (Buffalo), S, 17, 19. 

t 42, 97, 434- 
New Amsterdam (New York), 3. 
N e war k ( N i aga ra V i 1 1 age ) . 112, 1 94 . 
"New English Canaan," Morton's 32. 
New Haven (Conn.), 224. 
New Orleans, Victory" of, 167. 
Newport (K. L). 89. 
Newtown (Elmira), 154, 235, 240, 

New Year's Poem, extract (Dr. Lord), 

New York American, The, 363, 
New York Missionary Society, 434. 
New York, Natural History of, 33. 
Niagara, County of, S, 19, 165, 171, 

344. 377, 37')' 3 s i- 
Niagara Frontier, The, 288. 
Niagara River and Falls, 18, 23, 32. 

90, 139, 253 to 237, 306 to 315. 
.375, 373. 
Niagara Street Rail Road Company, 

Niies' Weekly Register. 39^. 
Noah, Michael Will, 29I. 
Noah, Major Mordecai Manuel, 115, 

116, 305 to 32S. 
Northampton, Town of, 19. 
Northumberland, 225. 
Northwestern Company, The, iS3 r 

Norton, Charles 1)., no, 133, 135. 
Nose, John T.; 398. 

OAKLEY, Thomas J., 38. 

Oak Orchard Creek, 32. 
"Oar breeze," The, 164. 
Obituary Record, Buffalo Historical 
Society, 136. 

O'Brian,— 366. 

Ogdell Land Company, 85. 

Ogdon, Colonel, 250. 

Ohio, State ^i, 27, 29, 32. 157. 171. 


Ohio Canal completed. 171. 

Oil Creek. 34S. 

OWen's Regiment (Sullivan's Kxpe- 
dition), 2^0. 

Old Homestead, The. 63. 

-0\<\ fack." ;;;. 

Old I 'lug. *fi5 

Oltl Mission Burial < '.round. 82, >o. 

Old Settlors' \Ol\ KoIIvh*. Old Resi- 
dents') \\ stival, 113. 115, 1 17. 131, 




:;, 32. S6, 96, 97, 

154, 160, 161, 394. 
Pensil, tfefiry, Tragic death of, 219. 
Perry (The Canal Boat), 385. 
Perry, Commodore O. II., 93, 104, 

Peters, Mr., 213. 
Phillipp, Salomon, 291. 
Phcenia Hotel. 19S. 
Pierce, Loring, 62. 
Pierce, ( Iharlcs S., 1 17, 422. 
I'ine Hill P.urvinir < 1 round. 200. 

" Old Shipyard," The, 267. 

" Old Sow," The — a mortar so called, 

/Old Stone Jail, The, 1S0, 375. 
Omiamie.s, The, 28. 
Oneida, 350. 
Oneida Lake, 159 • 
Oneida River, 159. 
Oneidas, The, 245, 261, 350. 
O'Neil, Con (Ferryman), 98. 
Onondaga County, 38 1. 
Oisondagas, The, 25, 261, 367. 
Ontario County. 19, 23, 160. 
Ontario, Lake, 5, 7, 28, 32, 34, 100, 

in, 159, 160, 161, 163, 165,255, 

267, 271, 276, 277, 318. 
Orange County, 154, 163. 
Ormsby, 191. 

Oswego, 5, 153, 159, 215, 375. 
Oswego Falls, 159. 
Oswego River, The, 276. 
Ottawas, The, 285. 
Ottenot, Nicholas, 70. 
Oughnour, Daniel, 214, 215. 
Overstocks, Peter, 190. 

Palmer, Alanson, 177, 1S1. 
Palmer, John, 434. 
Palmer, Joseph R., 434. 
Parkman's Life of Pontiac, 264 
Park Meadow, The, 65, 68. 
Parkway, The, 66. 
Parrish, Captain lasper, 51,337, 33S, 

Parrish Tract, The, 162. 
Patrick, Silas, 377. 
" Patriot War," The, 93, 421. 
Pawling, Mr.\ Funice Porter Bird, ! 

Pax, Father, 125. 
Peacock, William, 51, 379. 
Pease, Mr., 413. 
Pendleton (Erie Co.), 307. 

Pike, General, 10S. 

Pittsburg, Pa., 31, 94. 

Placide, Henry, 75. 

Plains, The Buffalo, 52, 63 67, 193. 

Pine Hill, 72. 

Plains of Abraham, 220. 

Pogono Point, 218. 

Pointe au Pins, 2S1. 

Pointe Pellee, 29, 2S1. 

Point Traverse, 276. 

Point St. Francis (Long Point), 2S0. 

Point St. Ignace, 284. 

Pollard, Captain, S3, 86, 88, I47. 

3-35, 349. 35«, 364, 3*>5. 367, 571- 
Pomeroy, Mrs. Lydia, 177. 
Pomeroy, Oliver, 50, 105, 200. 
Pontiac. 2f4. 

Poor, General, 221 to 237. 
Porter, Augustus, 96, 101, 163. 
Porter, Barton & Co., 94, 99, 101. 

163, 164. 
Porter, Captain Moses, 159. 
Porter, Peter B., 57, 92, 100, 162. 

l3i, 1S6, 193, 200, 203, 206, 207, 

20S, 324, 352, 378. 
Porter, Walter W.. 1 8 1. 
Port Folio, The, 96. 
Pottawatamies, The, 2S6, 287. 
Potter, Heman B.. 54, 180, 1S1, 100, 

316, 410, 411, 413. 
Potter's Field, The Buffalo, 54. 
Potter's Field, The Poorhouse, 55. 
Potter's Field, Roman Catholic. 55. 
Potter's Corners, 344. 
Pratt, Allen & Co., 349. 
Piatt >.V Allen, 344. 
Pratt & Meech, 349. 
Pratt, B. W., 19. 
Pratt . Captain, 51. 
Pratt, Hiram, 54, 179, 332, 343. 

348, 355. 
Pratt, Lucius II., 177. 
Pratt, Manila A. (Mrs. Orlan la Al- 
len), 355. 
Pratt, Mrs. Dr.. 177. 
Pratt, Samuel, 10, 177, 355-410. 435. 
Pratt, Samuel F.. 410. 
Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, 4<>Ss 
Preston, Colonel, 104. 
Presque Isle, 18. 10. Ill, 2S3. 
Prince. -John [<., 417, 4 22. 
Proclamation* The, of Major Noah 

Proctor, Colonel, 226, 233. 
Protestant Ladies' Hospital Ass 

lion, 302. 



QUAKERS, The, 88. 

Quebec, 25, 27, 28, 213, 221, 256, 

261, 275, 3o6. 
Queen City of the Lakes, Buffalo 

called, 62, 114. 
Queen City Mills, 164. 
Queen Easter's Plantation, 229. 
Queens County (N. Y.), 381. 
Queenston, 265. 
Queenston Heights, 258. 
Queenstown, 159, 160, 190. 

RAFFEIX, Father Peter, 260, 261 

Raisin River, 87. 

Ransom, Ama>a, 366. 

Ransom, Captain, 194. 

Ransom, Doctor, 60. 

Ransom, Elias, 413. 

Rathbun, Benjamin, 181, 384, 386, i 

Rea, Alexander, 100. 
Recollects, The two, 279, 284, 287. 
Record Book, First Buffalo School, 

Red House, The, 191. 
Red Jacket, 13, 82, 83, 85, 87, SS, 

89, 147, 175. 188, 334, 335, 349, 

351, 352 % 353, 354, 3 6 3. 37L 
Red Jacket's Grave and Gravestone, 

74, 75- 
Reed, Colonel, 236, 250. 
Reed's Elevator, 169. 
Rees, David, 175, 19S. 
" Relations, The PTench," 21, 2S. 
Remington, Rev. James. 3S9. 
Rial!, Major-General, 195, 197. 
Ribourde, Gabriel de la, 276, 27S. ; 
Rice & Clary. 414. 
Rich, Edward S., 132. 
Richardson, Dr., 33. 
Richmond, Frederick, 377. - 

" Ride to Niagara," 96. 
Rindskopf, Louis, 293. 
Ripley, General, 200, 201, 203, 204 

206, 207, 208. 
Riviere aux Bu-ufs, 28, 32, 34. 
Roanoke River. 32. 
Kobic, Rev. John E., 193. 
Robinson, Alnnsoii, 412. 
Rochester, I 71, 3S4. 
Roger.-,, Henry \\\, 1 32, 1 33, 137 
Roman Catholic Cemeteries, 71. 
Rome (N. V.), 5. 
Roop, Henry, 177 190. 
Roop, John, 190. 
Root, Erastus, }St . 

Root, Henry, 422. 

Rosebury, Michael, 221. 

Rosenau, David, 29q. 

Rosenau, Salomon, 299. 

Ross, Captain, 27, 33. 

Rouen (Frasierl, 254. 

Rough, Capt. James, 56, 57, 106, 

Rough's Epitaph, 57. 
Ruggles, Hon. Samuel B., 399. 
Russell, Samuel, 377. 
Ryan, Ebenezer and James, 27. 

SAGINAW Bay, 2S3. 

Salisbury, Guy H., 40, 133, 134, 

Salisbury, Hezekiah A., 139. 
Salt Springs or Licks, 25, 26, 30, 31, 

Salt Transportation, Early, 94. 
Sandusky Bay, ill. 
Sandusky, Lower, (Fremont,) 155, 

Sandy Town, 65, 365, 366. 
San Francisco, Cal., 295. 
Saunders, Captain, 66, 193. 
Saut Sainte Marie, 2S6. 
Scammel, Colonel, 250. 
Schenectady, 163, 313, 375. 
Schenectady Boat, 159. 
Schlosser, 94, 153, 154, 159, 103, 

Schoharrie, N. "S . (Schoharra), 96, 

Schoolcraft, 83, 263. 
Sehoolhouse, No. S (buffalo), 425. 
Scio, Island of, 315. 
Scott, General Wmrield, 93. 1S9, 200. 

Searle, Rev. Addison, 125, 315. 
Seely, Lieut. John, 1 94. 195, 1 
Seeley Tavern, 30S. 
fteixas, A. B., 314, 322. 
Seneca Castle, 241. 
Seneca Chief, The, (Canal Boat) 3S4. 
Seneca Lake, 230. 240. 
Seneca Oil (Petroleum), 347. 
Seneca Missioni The. 37. 
Seneca Reservation, The. IOI, 300. 
Seneca River, The, 150. 
s necas. The, 1 2, tj, 1;. 21, 23 

39, 82, 33, 85, 88, 99, 187 25 
"255,^*58, 259, 261, 202, 269, 27:. 

273. 274, 277. 300, 334. 3 - 
Senecas, River of the. (Ceneset 

River. I 270. 


XV 11. 

Seneca Tongue, The, 22, 24, 39. 
Seneca Village, The, 260, 277, 339. 
Seneca White, S6, 14S, 349: 
\ Sever, Nathaniel W.. 435. 
Sheenwater, 325. 
Sheldon, Alexander J., 22. 
.shcliion, James, 1^0. 332, 477. 
Sheldon, Hon. Jamesy 332, 373. 
•'Sheldon Tiaee," The, s;o. 
Shelton, Rev. William, D. D., 62, 

125. 133/ 
Sherman, Billa, 435. 
Sherwood Family, 63. 
Sherwood Tavern, 63. 
Sherwood, Mrs. Merrill B., 177. 
Shipping at Buffalo in 1S25, 146. 
Shire, Daniel, 297, 3C0. 
Shotis' Corps (Sullivan's Expedition), 

Sin eve. Colonel, 234, 250. 
Shumway, Horatio, 421, 422, 423. 
Sidway, Mr>. Parnell. 177, 410. 
Sill, Nathaniel, 90, 101. 
. Sill, Thompson & Co., 164, 305. 
Sin/heimer, Hirsch, 292, 290. 
Six Nations (Iroquois). The, 5, 6. 12, 

17, iS, 20, 23, &2, 1S6, 1S8, 334, 

Skirats, John E., 37S. 
Slade, Harry, 357. 
Slatky, Rev. Isaac M., 293 to 297. 
Sloan, Captain James, 93, 96, 97, 

177. 19a 
Sh»ssote*s Farm, 346. 
Smith, Mr,. A. M. C , 177. 
smith, Amos, 377. 
Smith, Gerrit, 313. 
Smith, Isaac S., 314. 
Smith, human. 177. 
Smith; Peter, 313, 314, 324. 
Smith, Sheldon, 3S5. 
smith. Thomas [., 177. 
Smote, Old, 40." 
Smoke's Creek, 40. 
Smyth, General Alexander, 67, Kp, 

Iol. fo2. 
> tak« Hill, 201, 203. 
Sultlicrh' Luna! Places 64. 
Somerset, l'a.. 3S9. 
>' 'Uthantjitoti Co., 32. 
*< n» IUmi i, fndiana, 2,,. 

■ol"- ( lazetteer, 1 1 2, 306. 


. apiain, 22 . 
*' Life of" La Sal . 204. 
Idin- KHirid v (i., 63. 

Spencer, John C., 3S1. 
Sprague. Noah P., 419. 
Squaw Island, 103, 104, 189, 192, 

201, 253, 275. 
Squier, Rev. Miles P., 124. 3N3. 
Standing Stone Bo; torn, 229. 
Stannard, Asa, 107. 
Stannard, Walter VV., 107. 
State Reservation Line (S. V.), 97. 
Steadmaii Farm, 18, 102. 
Steep Rock. 368, 309. 
Steele, Oliver G., 131, 135, 405, 419, 

422 427, 433- 
Steele, Mrs. O. G., 177, 196. 
Steele, Seth, 412. 
Sterling, Ambrose S., 388,. 
Sterling, Mrs. Julia M., 388. 
Stettcnbenz, Mr., 89. 
Stevens, Apollos, 163. 
Stevens, James, 20S. 
Steven.-, Mrs. Lewis, 177. 
Stevenson, Chief, 87, 349. 
Stevenson, James, 371. 
Stewart, F. H., 21 1. 213, 215. 
Stone, Col. Wm. L., 364. 
Stony Point, 224. 
Storrs (Tuba) & Co., 68, 376. 
Storrs, Lucius, 50, 177, 422. 
Storrs, Mr>. Lucius, 177. 
Story, Rev. Mr., 1S2. 
Strass, Abraham, 292. 
Strass, Albert, 296. 

iO ">ivS 

!Q ). 

Strass, Joseph E., 291, 29 

Strauss, Emanuel, 292. 
Strauss, Jacob, 296. 
Stone's Life of Brant, 364. 
StivetS Mills at Niagara Falls, 96. 
Strong, Captain, l6l . ;-;. 
Strong, Levi, 435. 
Strong, Nathaniel T., 3S to 42. 
Strong, Timothv, 199. 
Stroud, Mr.. 3<W 
Sturgeon, Mr., 4 1 2. 
Sturgeon Point, 14°. 1<t; - 
Subscribers for first School-hou^e in 

Buifalo. 435. 
Sutiield. Conn., 375. 
Sulphur Springs (near Buffalo), 25, 39, 
Sullivan. General, 217 to 252 
Sullivan's Kxitedilion in 17; 

[54. t55, 2J7 to 252. 
Sulpitian>, 1 loUicrand I 
Sunburv, l'a., 22 :. 

>pi in er, « 

Superior, . 

1 ■ . [6S, 

'• '4" 




Superior, The Canal Boat, 385. 
Superintendent of Buffalo Schools, 

The first, 418. 
Survev of Buffalo Village plot (1804), 

Suspension Bridge, The, 265. 
Susquehanna River, The, 220 to 229. 
Sweatland, Luke. 240. 
Sweeny. James, 332. 
Swift. Colonel, 1 86. 
Syracuse, 34. 
St. Clair. General, 156. 
St. Clair, Lake. 282. 
St. Clair. River. 2S2, 283. 
St. James Mission, 261. 
St. John. Gamaliel, 52. 103, 104, 376, 

St. John, Le Grand, 177. 
St. John, Ezra, 377. 
St. John, .Mrs.. I9S, 405. 
St. Joseph's College, 64, 95. 
-St. Lawrence River, 25, 153, 158, 

256, 262, 277. 
St. Louis Cathedral, 126. 
St. Michael's Mission, 261. 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 315. 

TAX ALLEY (Carroll St.), 416. 
Tanner, James, 307. 310. 
Tatman, Adjutant, 199. 
Taylor, President Zachary, 389. 
Te Deum. Th., 254, 25S, 274. 2S3. 
Temple Beth Zion, 73, 296 299, 300, 
, 302. 
Tennessee River, }i. 
Terr ice. The, 9, 51, 64, 65, 95, 186, 

1S7, 427, 429. 
Thompson, Harry, 169, 177. 
Thompson, Sheldon, 169. 
Thayer, Isaac, 179, 180. \ 

Thayer. /Lrael, 180. 
Thav / Nelson, 179, 1S0. 
Thayer Tavern. 92. 
Timer-. The Three, II5, 121. 
Thirty-Mile Point, 270. 
Thora, The Jewish, 206. 
Three River Point, 159. 
Thunder Bay Islands, 2S ;. 
Tioga I fiagoK 225, 229, 230, 231, 

233, 23S, 240, 

24 r, 


Tioga River. 22< 

Toledo. 154. 

Tonnir. Join tiy, 


3i5i 35-> 

37 1 

Toinpkiu-. Kort. 

' s 7 

, 190, 193, 


IYmawanda, 3* '5 

;. 1 

, 3L3. 3' 7. 

3 - 3 


Tonawanda Creek, 264. 

Tonawanda Indian Village, 340. 

Tonawanda Reservation, The, 309. 

Tonti (Tonty), 269, 270, 271, 272, 
273, 275, 279. 2S1, 2.S6. 
j " Tontine," System, The, 255. 

Tonty, Chevalier Ilenryde, 255, 270. 

Toronto (Little York), 109, 257. 

Tower, John, 1 90. 

Townsend, Charles, 369, 375, 377, 

Townsend & Coit, 369. 

Townsend Hall, 172. 292. 

Towson, Captain (Major), 201, 203. 

Tracy, Albert II., 421, 423. 

Transportation, Early, — in New York 
State, 159. 

Triangle, The, (Erie County), 19. 

Trimble. Major, 203. 

Triskett, John, 199. 

Trowbridge, I). J.. 422. 

Trowbridge, Dr. Josiah, 105. 

True Sisters. The Society of, 302. 

Tryon County, 19. 

Tryon, Governor, 19. 

Tucker, Colonel, 202. 

T upper, Judge Samuel, 15S, 197. 

Turner's History of the Holland Pur- 
chase, 389. 

Tuscarora Indians. 245, 307. 

Two-Guns, Deacon. 36, 349. 

Tyamocktee Creek, 155, 156. 

Tyler, President John, 3S9. 

UNION College, 313. 

Union of American Hebrew Con- 
gregations, 302. 
j Unitarian Church, Buffalo, 408. 
j Universalis! Society, Buffalo, 414. 
! I niversity of Buffalo, 35S, 417. 

I Ipper 1 ianada, 139. 

Upper Lakes, The, 255, 203. 

{ 'ruana, ( >hio, 32. 

L'tica. Citv of. 1 1 5. 

Uticrt Hank (Canandaigua Branch of), 

VAN liU REN, Martin (Ex-Presi- 
dent}, 23. 
j Van Rensselaer, Mr.. 112. 

Vafl Rensselaer, Major-Gen.Stephcn, 
187. 1* >. 

Van Ren>selaer, General Solomon. 

Vauilreuil. M. ilc, 34. 



Yeedersburgh (Amsterdam), N. Y., S. I 

Virginia, State of. 394. 

Vbsburgh, Nathaniel, iSr, 386, 422. 

WABASH River, 158. 

Wadsworth, Brig.-General William, | 

Waite, Charles H., 325. 

Wakelee, Mr., 332. 

Walden, Ebenezer, 54, 198, 200, 

377, 383. 
Walden, Mrs. Ebenezer, 177. 
Walden & Potter, 200. 
Walden's Hill, 34-6. 
Walker, E. H., 432. 
Walk-in-the- Water, The, 167, 365, 

Wall, Marcus, 29S, 299. 
Walton, (Jonathan) & Co., 163. 
Walworth, Reuben H., 1S0. 
Warden — , 33. 
War of 18 1 2, The, 165. 
Warner, Leopold, 299. 
Warren, Joseph, 132. 
Warren, Mr., 97. 
Warren, Colonel, 192. 
Warner, Mrs. Dr. N\ H., 177- 
Washington Block, The, 50. 
Washington, General George, 7, 12. 

14, iS, 95, 242, 246. 
Washington Island, 236. 
Washington Market. 425. 
Washington, The (First American 

vessel on Lake Erie), 160. 
Waterloo (Canada), 97, 1S7, 192. 
Waters, Mr.. 50. 
Watts, Lieutenant, 1S9. 
Waupun, Wis ,291. 
Wayne, General, 27, 156, 157, r 58, 

Wayne Cor Ay, 150,. \ 

Webster, George 15., 54. 
Weed's Block, 331. 
Weed's Hardware Store, 37b. 
Weed, Mrs. Louisa M., 177. 
Weil, Moritz, 202, 296. 
Weil, Simon, 299. 
Weiss, Marcus, 209. 
Weils, Captain, 1S0. 
Wells, Charles C, 199. 

Wells, Joseph, 435. 

Wells, William, 177. 

Western Hotel, The, 187. 

Western Savings Bank, 136. 

West Indies, 306. 

Westover Papers, The, 32. 

Wheeling (Virginia), 31. 

White, Dr. James P., 119, 132, 133. 

White Woman, The. Sg. 

Whiting, Samuel, 410. 

Whitney, Eli, 392. 

Wiener, Mathilda, 300. 

Wilber, William, 1 99. 

Wilcox, Birdseye, 5S. 

Wilgus. Nathaniel, 179, 422. 

Williams, Captain, 203, 204. 

Williams, Elisha, 3S1. 

Williamson, Hon. Joseph, 217. 

Williamsville, 6S, 96, 200, 206, 346. 

Willink, Town of, 19. 

Wilke^on, John, 331. 

Wilkeson, Samuel, =,2, 170, 182, 377, 

379. 3^. 
Wilkinson, General James, [5S. 
Winder, Colonel, 191. 
Wind-gap, The, 217. 
Windmill Point, 95. 
Windnecker, Mr., 97. 
Windsor, Conn., 374. 
Winter, nine Place. The, 34I. 
Wi>e, Rev. Dr., 2)3, 300. 
Wisconsin. State of, 17 1 . 
Wood Creek, 159, 163, 375. 
Wormwood, Henry, 369. 
Worth, General, 35 2 - 
Wright, Rev. A-her, 22, 2;. 
Wyoming. 86, 2iS to 250 (Sullivau's 

Expedition), 3'>4- 
Wyoming County, 101. 436. 



Yates & Mclntyiv, 324. 

Young Ring, So, 87, B8, 147, 104. 

3->7. 37 1- 
Young Men's Association, 135. 136. 
Young, Mrs. Foster, 177, 

Young, William V , 1 77. 





ACK-GOU-E-ACK GOU, the bea- 
ver, 21. 

Ah-ta-gis, the doctor, 335. 
Anyayea, a Town and Lake. 242. 

Town and Lake, 241, 242, 245. 

Candaia (Apple-town), a Village. 240. - 

Chemoung (Shemung, Sec), a Town. 
230, 235, 238, 249. 

Chenesee, a River and Flats (Gene- 
see), 24^ to 245. 

Cboconant, a Town. 233. 

Corcargonett, a Capital Town, 248. 

Cushnah, bark, 24. 

DAS-SIIO-WA, bassivood clustering, 

39. 40. 
De-gi-yah-goh, the buffalo, 39, 40. 
De-ya-oh, a cluster, 30. 
De ya-oh-sa-oh (see Das-sho-wa), 39. 
De-ya-ooh-sa-oh (see Das-sho-wa), 

Dos-sho-wa (see Das-sho-wa), 39. 
Do-syo-wa, abounding in bassxvoods, 

Do-yo-wa (pron. Do-sh-wa or Da- 
sha-ho, see Das-sho-wa), 22. 

ERIE, cat, 28. 

v GA-AN-NA-DA-DAH, Slate-stouc 

\ Bottom Crock, 40. 
Ga-gah-doh-ga. White ( >uA Creek, 40. 
( iaghehegualahate, a River, 243. 244. 
h Gagssonghgua, a Lake, 24 r. 

Gai-wi-u. ) ( Rev. A. Wright). 23. 
Ga-i-wi-yu, \ 24. 
Gannoron, wonderful, 277. 
Ga-no-oh, ait'lu ult or extraordinary, 



HOCHITAG< )N. ',;,-/., /(La Salle) 

Hon-non-de-uh (Chief N. T. Strong), 

1 lunvose (a;: ( >!u -ida 'ndian), 245. 

KAII-KWAIIS, The, see Neuter 

Nation, 43, 82. 
Kaiyuga, a Settlement (Cayuga), 246. 
Kaiyugea, a River (Cayuga;. 23S. 
Kannadasaga ( — gea), a Town. 241, 

Kaneysas or Yucksea, / a Town, 
Kanigsas or Chocksett, S 242, 245. 
Kannawalohalla, a Town, 238. 
Kauquatau, a Squaw's name, 335 
Ki-eu-wa-na (Win. Ketchum), 24. 
Kislkakons (Hurons), 285. 

LACIIAWANUNC1 1- — ck , a Set- 
tlement and Stream (Lackawanna), 

224. 226. old ruined 

town, 232. 
Meshopping, a River. 227. 
Minisings, a Settlement, 225. 

Ni-a-oua, an exclamation of appro- 
val, 262. 

O-DO-SOTE, ffliiag, 4?- 
O-ge-ina (Alex. J. Sheldon), 4. 22. 24. 
O-ji-ka-toh, salt, 42. 
Onnontio, a French Governor's In- 
dian name, 262. 
0-oh-sah,orOo-sah, fotss-uwd, 37 - 
t >t-kon, pemtrating winds, 274. 
O-shoh. "//-/:■.*' 42. 
Owagea, a Town (Owego), 233. 

(jl'll.l "TLMACK. a Settlement, 



Shaiyus, large falls, a Settlement, 

She>»hekonunck, a River .Meadow. 

!2< > . 
Skannayutenales, a lown, -47. 

S ngi>e (Chief Tom in j Jemmy), 

3 3 5 • 
Sw anvav. auah. a Tow II, - :' 


TAGAROXDIES. the great Seneca | Ti-yoos-yo-wa, at the place which 

Village, 260, 269. abounds with bass-woods, 37. 

Tai-ai-a-gon, an Iroquois village, 257. j Ti-yu-syo-wa, at the place of bass- 

Tanckhannanck (Tunkhannuek), a | woods, 23. 

Stream, 21S, 227. \ Tobehanah, a Stream 218. 

Te-ge-yoh-ga,//^ buffalo, 141. To-se-o-way (Buffalo Creek), 22. 

Tehosororan (Buffalo Creek), 6, 7. | Tushua or Dushua, place of peeled 

Te-osah-way, place of bass-wood, 20, 1 bassiuoods (see Te-osa-\vay), 4, 5. 

24. I Tushuway or Desoway (see Tush- 

Te-yu-shu-wa (Buffalo), 140. ua), 6. 

Tiek-e-ack-gou. the buffalo, 21. \ Tn-shu-way (see Te-osah-way), 23. 

Tiek-e-ack-gou-ga (Buffalo Village), ! 

24. j WESAWKIXG, a Stream, 229. 

Tick-e-ack-gou-ga-ha-uivla (Buffalo ' Wyalusing, an old Indian Town, 

Creek), 20, 24. 227,' 22S. 







The undersigned propose to publish, by subscription, a selection from the historical doc- 
uments and papers communicated to, or read before, the Buffalo Historical Society, since 
its organization in 1862. 

They will be arranged, revised and edited under the direction of the Publication Com- 
mittee of the Society. 

They will be issued as nearly as possible at regular monthly intervals, in pamphlet form, 
of about 35 pages each; printed from clear type, on fine paper. 

They will be consecutively paged, so as to be bound in a volume of not less than 400 
pages, at the end of the year. A title page and index will be furnished with the last num- 
ber of the volume. 

The publication will be continued from year to year, so long as satisfactory material and 
sufficient encouragement are afforded. 

The subscription price will be 25 cents a number, payable on delivery. 

The first number will be issued as soon as a satisfactory list of subscribers, for the year 
1S79, is obtained. 


do, 62 and 64 Pearl Street, Btiffalo, N. V. 

The undersigned, Committee on Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, would 
cordially recommend to its members and patrons, and the citizens of Buffalo generally, the 
proposition of Messrs. Bigelow Brothers, as contained in the foregoing prospectus. 

The Society has in its archives a large number of original manuscripts of general and 
local interest, the publication of which has been omitted for want of funds. 

The proposition of Messrs. Bigelow Brothers, while it provides for their publication, in- 
v \\\ no draft upon the treasury of the Society. They place the enterprise under it- di- 
rcciion\ind furnish it with the means of making exchanges with sLter Institutions. 

It is hoped that all of the members and others interested, will respond to the circular by 
.1 l&^fal subscription. \ 


E. S. HAYVI.KY, • Publication CommitU 


Buffalo, February _y, l&fQ. 

This volume is published according to the above Prospectus, under the 
editorial supervision of Rev. Albert Bigelow, gorresponding Secretary and 



President WM. H. H. NEWMAN. 

Vice-President, .... HON. JAMES M. SMITH. 

Recording Secretary, . . WM. C. BRYANT. 

Corresponding Secretary, J To April ^ DR Q s ARMSTRONG, 
Librarian, . From A . a t REV ALBERT BIGELOW 

Treasurer, ) * 


E. P. Dorr, Warren Bryant, Wm. Hodge, 

Hon. James Sheldon, O. G. Steele, Thomas B. French. 

Rev. A. T. Chester, D. I)., O. IT. Marshall, Elias S. IIawlev. 


1 0. II. Marshall. 
J E. S. IIawlev, 
J A T. Chester, D. 

blUation Com mittce, 


( Wm. C. Brvant, < 


To promote the completeness of this volume, the editor has 
marked the following points for notice, by way of preface. 

i. As will be obvious to all, this is, mainly, a volume about 
Buffalo; and suitably, as an initial volume, considering the 
object and name of the Society whose " Publications " it con- 
tains. Yet, The Voyage of the'Griffon and Major Norris' Jour- 
nal indicate the wider range which the papers in the Society's 
archives, and those to be communicated, assume. 

2. The Index, upon which great labor and care have been 
expended, has been prepared less as a help towards finding 
prominent topics, than as a guide to, and reminder of, even the 
most slightly mentioned ones. Some may think it needlessly 
minute. But a good authority has said, "An index cannot be 
too rvll or particular;" and even to err i* better in this direc- 
tio^than in the other. This one is intended not only to answer 
questions, but to start them; to provoke inquiry, and stimulate 
investigation; and thus even the obscurest name may become 
useful and valuable, as well as interesting. It is hoped that 
this index of nearly sixteen hundred titles may be found to 
serve this purpose well. Instances of omission are, however, 
observable. A few are inadvertent; the greater number inten- 
tional, and will be found in the remarkable "proclamation " oi 


Major Noah, pp. 315 to 322. Let it not be thought strange. 
however, if before such an array of names, encircling the whole 
world, even editorial patience and perseverance quailed. 

3. By way of corrections, the following may be noted: Colonel 
Bird mentioned on page 32 is by mistake indexed as Colonel 
Win. A. Bird. The two belong to quite different periods of 
time. A competent investigator also finds the first Roman 
Catholic minister in Buffalo to have been, not Father Pax, as 
stated by Dr. Lord from his recollection (page 125), but a 
Father Maertz. Nothing further in the statement concerning 
Father Pax requires change or abatement. The Rev. Mr. 
Squires mentioned at page ^St, is in fact the Rev. Miles P. 
Squier described at page 124; at page 177 the name of Mrs. 
Sidway should be "Parnell," instead of "Pamelia;" at page 1S0 
that of Mr. Lee should be R. " Hargreave," instead of " Har- 
grave;" and at page 281 " Bois Black" should read "Bois 
Blanc." These will be found correctly indexed. 

In the later numbers, as issued from month to month, the 
dates of death of deceased writers, were givtc. in notes. Those 
whose papers were printed before this was done, were Hon 
Millard Fillmore, who died March 8, 1875; William Ketchum. 
who died October 1/1S76; and Rev. John C. Lord, D. D., who 
died January 21. 1877. 

4. Items of addition are the following: Concerning the relic 
of Farmer's Brother's coffin, mentioned at page 52 as a tablet. 
and stated to have been lost, it is sratifving to report, that sin< e 
that page was printed the article has been discovered, and is 
now safely in its right place in the Society's Cabinet. 


The original manuscript of the Ballad of the Three Thayers, 
page 122, is in the possession of a lady of this city, and will 
doubtless eventually find its home in the Society's Cabinet. 

In a very full list of Journals of Sullivan's Expedition, just 
received from General John S. Clark of Auburn, N. Y., who has 
cojjies already of twenty-three, are found one by the Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dearborn mentioned pp. 221, 224 and 246, and one by 
Captain Benjamin Lodge, mentioned at page 234 as Mr. Lodge. 
Concerning the latter, it is stated that he " was in charge of a 
party that accompanied the army from Easton, and with com- 
pass and chain surveyed the entire route to the Genesee river. 
On the return march, commencing at Kanadaseaga, the party 
'accompanied Colonel Butler, and made a like survey along the 
east side of Cayuga lake, connecting with the main line, near 
the present Horseheads. But one section of the map has been 
found, and that was among the papers of Captain Machin, an 
artillery officer. The original is now in the hands of J. R. 
Symms [Simms], Esq., Fort Plain, N. Y. Several parties have 
photographic copies. This section extends north of Tioga 
point, and west as far as Kanadaseaga." 

In a note to an account of a Journal by Lieutenant and Cap- 
tain Charles Nukerck, General Clark mentions a " drenving of 
the Order of March " of Sullivan's Army (referred to in this 
volume, page 21S, note), and states that it was at one time con- 
tained in Nukerck's Journal, but is noy missing; having been, 
probably, on a final leaf, which has disappeared from an "other- 
wise perfect work." 


With the hope that this volume will be read with pleasure 

equal to that enjoyed in its preparation, and that it will tend 

to keep alive, increase and intensify the historic spirit, on the 

part of our citizens, and of all readers, it is now submitted to 

its patrons, and the public. 

A. B. 







Gentlemen of the Buffalo Historical Society : 

When men erect a statue to commemorate the virtues of 
some distinguished civilian, or the heroism and gallantry of 
some great warrior, they inaugurate it with all due ceremony; 
and so a newly elected President, before he enters upon his 
term of office, is usually inaugurated with great pomp and cere- 
mony; and he generally indicates in an address the policy 
which he intends to pursue in administering the government. 

We cannot think of comparing this infant Society, which has 
yet to win its fame, with such august events. Nevertheless, 
the " Buffalo Historical Society " having been organized, 
it seems fit and proper that it should be inaugurated; and we 
have met this evening for that purpose. 

But the question is generally asked, why establish an His- 
torical Society in Buffalo? We all know its history and that oi 
the surrounding country. 'The town itself — as village and 
city — is scarcely older than its oldest inhabitant, and the whole 
of Western New York has been settled within the memory oi 
men now living! and we can, therefore, learn its history by 


talking with our neighbors. Such persons may say, that we do 
not require historical records to tell us all that we desire to 
know of the city and its inhabitants. 

I grant that this may be true of some of this generation, but 
certainly not of all. Even now the inquisitive mind wishes to 
know a thousand things connected with the origin and expan- 
sion of this great city, and the labors of its enterprising in- 
habitants, of which he can find no authentic record. But even if 
all its present inhabitants knew, by tradition or actual observa- 
tion, everything connected with the commencement and growth 
of this city, and the men who have acted a distinguished part on 
its theatre, still this historical association would be necessary. 
It must be borne in mind, that its labors are not for the pres- 
ent generation merely, or chiefly, but rather for posterity. 

" The object of this Society," as expressed in its Constitution, 
"is to discover, procure and preserve whatever may relate to 
the history of Western New York, in general, and the city of 
Buffalo in particular." It is, therefore, apparent that the ob- 
ject of this Society is not the study of history, either ancient 
or modern, general or local, or the formation of a library for 
that purpose; but its chief object is to collect and preserve the 
materials of history relating to Western New York, and espe- 
cially to Buffalo, for future reference and use. Those who 
would learn the history of nations which have arisen, flourished 
and passed away, leaving nothing but a name, and the records 
and monuments of their works, to tell that they ever existed. 
and those who would trace the origin and history of the na- 
tions among which the earth is now divided, must seek that 
information from other sources than this Society. Its object 
is not to teach, but to preserve history. And it is certainly a 
grateful task to commemorate the virtues of those who have 
built up this city and its noble institutions, and to be sure that 
their names shall not be forgotten. ' Now is the time to pho- 
tograph 'their characters in all the lineaments of active life. 
that the jienerations who shall come after us may see them a- 


we have seen them, and be stimulated to emulate their virtues, 
and if possible rival their enterprise. 

The history of a city like this, naturally divides itself into 
two parts — material and personal; and the combination of 
these in due proportion constitutes its history. The material 
is first and most enduring; but the personal, which sketches 
individual life, and social, religious, charitable and political 
combinations, is much the most interesting; though the actors, 
like those in the theatre, appear upon the stage but to perform 
the part assigned them by Providence in the great drama of 
life, and then pass from our view forever; but their works, ma- 
terial and moral, remain to bless or curse mankind, as they 
have been good or evil. 

I am sure it cannot be that any of us know all of Buffalo 
which we ought; and if we neglect our duty, posterity will 
know much less than we do. Buffalo ! Is it not a strange 
name for a city ? To our ears it is familiar, indicating only the 
name of a pleasant and beautiful city. But a foreigner, when 
you say you are from Buffalo, looks at you as though he thought 
the inhabitants of the place where you reside were buffalos, 
and you unavoidably feel that you would be glad to give some 
reason why this singular name has been attached to your place 
of residence. But who among us can tell ? I am sure I can- 
not. I do not mean to say that it is difficult to ascertain how 
the city came by this name, for it is manifest that it took its 
name from the creek. But the question is, why was this stream 
that runs through our city called "Buffalo creek," and when 
and by whom was it thus christened ? To this question I con- 
fess that I have never seen any satisfactory answer. I have 
never seen any reliable statement that the buffalo in his wild 
state was ever found in Western New York. I believe that his 
native haunt was the great prairies of the West, and nowhere 
else on this Continent. It is true that eady French travelers 
have spoken of seeing " wild cows," especially in the northern 
part of the state; but it is evident to my mind from their de- 


scription, when they give any, that they meant either the 
moose or the elk. It is clear, then, that this name could not 
have arisen from the fact that this locality was once the haunt 
of the wild buffalo. 

• About 1845, the question of the origin of this name for the 
creek was considerably discussed in the papers of this city. It 
seemed to be conceded by all those who professed to under- 
stand the Indian language, that it was not a translation of any 
Indian name for the creek; for, so far as appears, they had 
none, but called the place at or near the mouth of the creek, 
"Tush-ua" or "Dush-ua," which all agree meant the place of 
the "peeled bass-woods;" so that we cannot trace this name to 
an aboriginal origin. 

The first historians after the dark or middle ages, had ap- 
parently no difficulty in accounting for the origin of nations 
and cities and .their names. For we are informed by an histo- 
rian (Buckle's "History of Civilization," vol. i, pp. 224-5) ot 
great research, that "it was believed by every people that they 
were directly descended from ancestors who had been present 
at the siege of Troy. That was a proposition which no one 
thought of doubting. The only question was as to the details 
of such lineage. On this, however, there was a certain unanim- 
ity of opinion; since, not to mention inferior countries, it 
was admitted the French were descended from Francus, whom 
everybody knew to be the son of Hector; and it was also 
known that the Britons came from Brutus, whose father was do 
other than .Eneas himself. They say that the capital of France 
was called after Paris, the son of Priam, because he lied there 
when Troy was overthrown: and that the city of Troves was 
actually built by the Trojans, as the etymology of its name 
clearly proves." 

Could 1 yield my convictions to fables like these. I might 
give credence to the story told in* a l^aper called the /'. '. 
printed in this city, July '6th, 1S45, in which an anonymous 
writer, sinning himself O-oi-ma, tells a fanciful story about 


some unknown and unnamed missionaries who camped near 
the mouth of the creek in a state of starvation, and sent out 
their hunters for game, who killed a horse belonging to the In- 
dians, and served it up to the famishing missionaries as buffalo 
meat, and hence they called the stream "Buffalo creek." But 
I confess that this story, like those of the historians of France 
and England, appears too mythical to deserve any serious at- 
tention at the hands of the historian, and I fear that I am des- 
tined to pass down to the grave, without seeing the mystery 
explained of the origin of the name of "Buffalo creek," or 
when, or where, or by whom it was first applied to this stream. 
But, having made this frank confession of my ignorance and 
despair, I trust that I shall be pardoned in offering a conject- 
ure as to the probable origin of this name. I have searched 
the Indian treaties, and the public documents published by 
Congress and-the State Legislature, and such books and maps 
as I have been able to find, and as far as my research extends, 
the name of "Buffalo creek" is first found in the first treaty 
made by the United States with the Six Nations of Indians 
who were the owners and occupants of Western New York. 
This treaty was made at Fort Stanwix (now Rome), on Octo- 
ber 22d, 1784, immediately after the close of the Revolutionary 
war, at which time the whole country west of Utica was one 
unbroken wilderness. The military posts of Oswego, Niagara. 
Detroit and Mackinaw, were then, and for more than ten years 
afterwards, in the occupation of the British troops. Little or 
nothing was known of this particular locality. The course of 
trade with the Indians, was along the shore of Lake Ontario, 
and up Niagara river, and thence through Lake Erie, general- 
ly along the north shore, as being the shortest route to Detroit, 
and so on west; and, consequently, the trailers had little or no 
inducement (as the military post at the upper end of Niagara 
river was at Fort Erie) to stop here; aria, if. the creek had an 
Indian name it has not come down to us as distinct from the 
phk e of " peeled bass-woods." Who acted as scribe or inter- 


prefer at the council which formed that treaty, we know not, as 
all the minutes of its proceedings have been lost, and nothing 
but the treaty itself remains to explain what was done. 

The chief object of the treaty seems to have been to fix the 
western boundary of the lands belonging to the Six Nations, 
and this place was made a point from which a line was to be 
run due south to the north line of Pennsylvania, as the western 
boundary of the Six Nations, and this locality was described in 
the treaty as " Tehosororan or Buff aloe Creek." Now it is ap- 
parent that "Tehosororan " was intended to be what the Indi- 
ans here call " Tuskmmy or Desoway" and the marked differ- 
ence of spelling shows the bungling manner in which the inter- 
preter spoke the Indian language, or the stupidity of the scribe 
in writing it down. This mistake in the Indian name may also 
prepare us to look out for a mistake in the English name, for 
it can hardly be supposed that an Indian interpreter spoke Eng- 
lish better than Indian, and it therefore might naturally hap- 
pen that a stupid scribe did not readily distinguish between 
the word " beaver" and "buffalo," especially when spoken by 
one who could not speak the English language plainly. I 
strongly suspect that the interpreter meant to say Beaver 
creek, but not speaking the language well, the scribe under- 
stood him "Buffalo creek," and so wrote it dawn, and inserted 
it in the treatv. But you naturally aSk why I suspect this mis- 
take. I will tell you why. It does not appear that there was 
ever a buffalo here, and therefore there was nothing to >ugge>t 
that name for the creek. The Indians never spoke of buffalos, 
as I can find, in all their communications' to the colonial au- 
thorities of New York, but they seemed to be most anxious 
about their "bearer hunting grounds" They had no Buffalo 
tribe, but they had a Beaver tribe, and it is far more probable 
that beavers were found on this creek than buffalos. 

This suspicion is very much strengthened, if not confirmed, 
by the fact that Corn Planter, a very intelligent Indian chief, 
who was present at Fort Stanuix when this treaty was made. 


•six years afterwards, in 1790, appealed to President Washing- 
ton for relief on behalf of the Indians, and, in speaking of this 
treaty, he said: "You told us that the line drawn from Penn- 
sylvania to Lake Ontario would mark it forever on the east, and 
that the line running from Beaver creek would mark it on the 
west, and we see that it is not so." (I. American State Papers, 
Indian Affairs, p. 207.) 

Thus, I say, it seems probable that the same blundering 
stupidity which converted Tushuci into Tehosororan, changed 
Beaver into Buffalo, and that this was the time, place and man- 
ner in which this stream received the name of " Buffalo creek." 

But the question may be asked: "Why, if this mistake was 
made, was it not corrected ? " How could it be ? The Indians 
were too ignorant of letters to know that any mistake had been 
made, as is evident from the fact that Corn Planter called it 
Beaver creek six years afterwards, and the ignorance of the 
whites as to the true name precluded all possibility of correct- 
ing the mistake at that time; and the natural course of events 
soon fixed it beyond the power of correction, for the treaty was 
published as a law, and sent all over the country; but Corn 
Planter's address to President Washington was probably net 
published till forty years afterwards. Thus you will perceive, 
if my conjecture be correct, that Fort Stanwix was the place, 
and the making of the treaty of 1784, the occasion, for chri>t- 
ening Buffalo creek, whether the god-fathers who assi.^ted on 
that occasion, mistook the intended name or not. There the 
name originated, and there it was first applied. But I concede 
that this is only a conjecture; and the most that I can hope i>. 
that it will stimulate some member of the Society, fond of anti- 
quarian research, to pursue this investigation, and, if possible, 
either confirm or explode this theory, and settle the true origin 
of the name of Buffalo upon a firm, historical basis. 

But I beg of. you, gentlemen, not' to infer from anything 
which I have said that I do not like the name o( Buffalo. 1 low- 
ever it may sound to foreign ears, to me it signifies everything 


which I love and admire in a city, beautiful, clean, healthy,, 
warm in winter and cool in summer; but, above all, it is my 
home, and the home of the friends I love best, where my days 
have been spent, and my bones shall repose. 

It is, probably, known to most of you, that three attempts 
have been made to fasten the name of Amsterdam upon some 
locality in this state. The first was the city of New York r 
which was called New Amsterdam; and it retained this name 
till the jurisdiction passed from Holland to Great Britain in 
1664, when it was changed to New York. The second was 
Amsterdam, as the name of a township in Montgomery county. 
in 1793, which name it still retains, as also does the principal 
village of the town, formerly called Veedersburgh. The third 
and last effort was made here. When the original plot for this 
city was surveyed, about 1801 to 1803, the agents of the Hol- 
land Land Company, the proprietors of all this region of 
country, named this place, on their maps, "New Amsterdam." 
in compliment to the Dutch owners. But it is quite apparent, 
that this did not suit the first settlers here. The name of 
" Buffalo Creek " had then become well established. Congress. 
in 1805, established a collection district here by that name; and 
I have seen a letter from Joseph Ellicott, the Holland Land 
Company's local agent, dated August 24th, 1807', in which, 
speaking of the lots of this village, he calls it " New Amsterdam. 
alias Buffalo." Thus was the name, probably by some public 
act of the inhabitants themselves, transferred from the creek 
to the village, and, probably, about this time it became the pop- 
ular name of the place. But the first legal recognition which I 
find of it, is in the law of the State Legislature, establishing the 
county of Niagara, passed March i ith ,iSo8, in which " Buffalo 
or New Amsterdam" is named as the county seat, on condition 
that the Holland Land Company would give land for the public 
buildings, and erect the same, which they did. 

In 1810, the town of Buffalo was established, and in 1S1 ;. 
the village of Buffalo was incorporated; but it was burned the 


same year, and was not re-organized till 181 5. A new charter 
was obtained in 1822, and it was finally incorporated as a city 
in 1832, since which time the charter has been frequently 
amended so as to include more territory; swallowing up in its 
voracious growth the surrounding villages, including its old and 
once-formidable rival, Black Rock. 

Thus much for the extraordinary name of our city. But even 
in this we are not wholly without precedent. Classical historv 
gives us the name of Bosporus, meaning an ox-passage, for the 
narrow strait which separates Asia from Europe; Oxford, mean- 
ing a ford for oxen, is the name of one of the great collegiate 
cities of England ; and Berne, the capital of Switzerland, means 
bear, and two or three of these uncouth animals are constantly 
kept there at the public expense as mementos. When I saw 
them, they were in a deep vault or excavation, which was sur- 
rounded by a wall, open at the top, and these singular pets 
were amusing themselves by climbing a pole in the centre, and 
catching fruit thrown to them by the spectators. I trust that 
we shall not imitate the Bernese example, by keeping two or 
three wild buffalos, for they would be exceedingly inconvenient 
where all animals are permitted to run at large.* 

But, dismissing this subject, let us turn for a moment to the 
original plan of our city, and see how far the design has been 
carried out. By looking at an original map you will perceive 
that a certain portion of the ground was laid out in small lots, 
called "inner lots," numbering in all upwards of two hundred; 
and outside of these inner lots, larger lots were laid out, called 
"outer lots," to the number of about one hundred and fifty. 
The inner lots were bounded on the north by Chippewa street; 
on the south-west by the Terrace; on the east by EUicott street; 
and were evidently intended to be occupied by the dwellings, 
stores and shops of the citizens; while the outer lots were in- 
tended as pasture-'jround for their cattle, but how strangelv 

* The nuisance here and below so earnestly referred to, h.<v long been kbated ; and 
whatever disorder and uncteanliness may he found in passing through our streets can* t 
now he charged upon animals roaming at large. — Ko. 


all this has been reversed. We now see the cattle and swine, 
which from their numbers apparently came from the surround- 
ing country, daily feeding upon or rooting up the beautiful 
grass plots about our houses in the very heart of the city, which 
we have taken so much pains to make an attractive ornament 
to the town. How our Common Council have been able to 
legislate so much with a view of remedying this crying evil, 
without apparently producing the least effect, will form an in- 
teresting chapter in the future history of the "mysteries" of 
this city. I hope, for the honor of our city fathers and its po- 
lice, as well as for the instruction of posterity, that some Died- 
rich Knickerbocker will give it to the world in all its grotesque 

But there is another thing connected with the original plan 
of our city, that may not be familiar to all. How many law- 
yers in the city, if shown a deed, bounding land on Busti and 
Vollenhoveifs avenues, could tell where to locate it ? We are a 
people fond of novelty, and where we cannot change the thing, 
we change the name. This propensity has been singularly ex- 
emplified during the present civil war. Ships and forts have 
changed their names so often, that, to a stranger, the history of 
the war must be a perfect " comedy of errors." We must not 
therefore be surprised to find that the early settlers in Buffalo, 
after getting rid of the name of New Amsterdam for their vil- 
lage, proceeded to demolish the jaw-breaking names of the 
streets, and to substitute more euphonious ones in their places. 
Hence-they called X. and 5. Onaz/t/j^d, Washington street: _V. 
and S. Oneida, Ellicoit street; Van Sta^A&rst and Wiffink av- 
enues, Main street; N. and S. Cayuga, Pearl street; Tt/scarora, 
Franklin street; Afessisagim, Morgan street; ScnitnetfCK 
avenue, Niagara street; Staduitski avenue, Church street; /'<.'- 
lenJunrns avenue, Erie street; Cazcnovia avenue, Court street; 
and Busti avenue, Genesee street. -But J am bound to say that 
I regard these as beneficial changes, though the knowledge of 
the original names should be preserved to illustrate public rec- 


ords and p£<: history. One change, however, was made, for 
which there was no necessity, and which I cannot but regret, 
viz: that -:: Cr&iv street to Exchange. Possibly our city 
fathers sc.-j-.osed this street had been named after that cun- 
ning but tr; uV.esome bird whose name it bears; but this, I am 
assured, is not so, since the street was named after John Crow, 
one of the earliest settlers, who resided on that street, and it is 
due to his memory that it should have retained his name. 

I shall mention but one other feature in the original plan of 
this city, and that is, as you will see by the map, the large 
lot No. 104. occupying the whole space on the east side of 
Main stree:. between Eagle and Swan streets, and running 
back two-::r.T-Js of a mile, containing one hundred acres, and 
bounding on Main street with a semi-circle in front of the 

This boundary would have carried Main street around this 
semi-circle, and would thus have enabled the owner to erect 
a palace on this semi-circle, from the observatory of which he 
could look .up and down Main street, down Erie and Church 
streets to the lake, and down Niagara street to IUack Rock and 
Canada. It its said that this magnificent lot was laid out by 
Toseph Ellicott for his own use. It was certainly a noble con- 
ception, and I cannot but regret that he was not permitted to 
carrv it out. for the life of a man is nothing in comparison to 
the life of a city, and he would soon have passed away, leaving 
a splendid building for the display of the fine arts, and a beau- 
tiful park in the midst of our city, but the democratic spirit 
of the time, which looked not to the future, was naturally jeal- 
ous of such a baronial establishment, and cut the beautiful semi- 
circle bv running Main street through it instead oi around it. 
Mr. Ellicott. feeling the indignity, gave up the project, and 
never made Buffalo his residence; and this lot was finally 1 
by North and South Division streets, arid surveyed into small 
lots, and sold out to settlers. Tims the hist hope for an ex- 
tensive park in the midst of our city vanished. 

1 2 IX A I 'G l TRA L , i h DRESS OF 

But, turning from the materia history of Buffalo, on which 
I have said more than I intends*!, let us for a moment glance 
at its personal history; and here time admonishes me that I 
must be brief. 

This naturally begins with the red man of the forest. Tra- 
dition says that a nation called ' ; N'euter " once inhabited this 
region, occupying a space between the Senecas on the east, 
and the Eries or Cat Indians on Tie west; but which, like the 
Eries, was either driven off or exterminated by its more war- 
like and powerful neighbors. AH that we know of the Neuter 
Nation is, perhaps, too vague and shadowy to enter into relia- 
ble history. But not so with the Seneca Nation, which suc- 
ceeded to the territory of the Ne itrals. 

The Seneca Nation was the moat numerous and powerful of 
the Six Nations, and its history may be traced with tolerable 
accuracy for near two hundred years. Who has not heard of 
Farmer's Brother, the brave and sagacious warrior, the calm 
and judicious statesman, and the eloquent orator ? His resi- 
dence was at Farmer's Point on the Big Buffalo creek, just 
below the railroad bridge. I am told, by those who knew him, 
that in addition to those striking intellectual gifts, which 
marked him as one of Nature's noblemen, he possessed a 
gigantic and well proportioned frame, and moved with a ma- 
jestic air, which said to all observers that he was born to 
command. Though he lacked the cultivation of civilized life, 
and the grace which Christianity alone can bestow, yet, as an 
untutored savage, one might look at him, and say to all the 
world, '* Every inch a king." 

So of Corn Planter. Though a half-breed, he was an Indian 
by education and habit; brave in battle, wise in council, and 
linn in purpose; faithful to his friends, and implacable to his 
i itcinies. No man can read his eloquent appeal to President 
\\ .i-hington. in December, 1700, 11T whjch he set forth the 
wrongs done to his then humbled and supplicating nation. 
without feeling that Ins simple eloquence touches a cord ot 


sympathy that vibrates in alternate pity and resentment. His 
residence was on a reservation given him by the State of Penn- 
sylvania, on the Allegany river; but much of his public life 
was spent in attending councils in this vicinity. I saw him 
once, an aged man, bending under the weight of ninety years; 
yet he brought to my office, in his saddle-bags, all the treaties, 
on parchment, with his nation, and spread them out very de- 
liberately on the floor; and then, commencing with the first, 
he gave me, through an interpreter, a succinct history of each, 
and concluded by saying, in his own expressive language, that 
the il Indians were very hungry for their annuities." 

Though there are many others whose biographies should be 
preserved by this Society, yet I shall mention but one more, 
and that is Red Jacket, the celebrated Indian orator. He lived 
and died and was buried in our vicinity. His life has been 
written by W. L. Stone, but the book is nearly out of print. 
It should be preserved among the archives of this Society. 
He was Nature's orator, and rose by his oratorical powers 
alone, from the lowest grade to the rank of chief ; and he ex- 
ercised a powerful influence in the councils of his nation. 
But his fame, like that of Patrick Henry, must rest mostly on 
tradition. PI is figures of speech were bold, beautiful and 
striking; but of course we have only the skeleton of them in 
the meagre translation of ignorant interpreters, who were not 
skilled either in the Indian or English language. I have often 
wished that I understood his language, and could hear him on 
some great occasion that called forth his utmost powers, that I 
might compare him with some of our own orators whose fame 
is destined to live forever. 

The first time I saw him was in this town in 1822. 1 had 
read some of his speeches, heard much of his fame, and I looked 
up to him with a kind of juvenile reverence, such as boys are 
apt to feel for great men at a distance. , 1 solicited and obtained 
an introduction, and he evidently felt ilattered by the reveren- 
tial awe with which I looked at him, tor 1 could not converse 


with him. He drew himself up with great dignity, and osten- 
tatiously pointed to a silver medal suspended upon his breast, 
and in a few words of broken English, and with evident pride 
and satisfaction, gave me to understand it was a present from 
Washingon, whom he called his friend. A few hours after, 
my attention was called to him again, and I saw him, appar- 
ently unconscious, being dragged along by two Indians, who 
laid him under the shadow of a pile of boards, and left him. 
He had tasted the Circean draught, and was transformed to a 
beast. I could not help exclaiming: "Oh! that men should 
put an enemy into their mouths, to steal away their brains." 

All the imaginary splendor with which my youthful fancy had 
adorned. this Indian orator, vanished in a moment. Alas! how 
often is it the case that a nearer view of greatness discovers 
defects which we did not see at a distance. So the traveler, 
viewing the Alps at a distance, fancies that they present a beau- 
tifully-rounded surface, which he can walk over with ease; but 
when he approaches them he finds them deformed, with rough, 
projecting crags and deep gorges, that obstruct his passage. 

But, turning from the aboriginals, who would not like to 
know something of the earlier settlers in this region ? Fifty 
years ago, the " Holland Purchase " was the land of promise. 
Men gathered here from the four points of the compass, and 
before society was amalgamated, or could be toned down by 
attrition, there were many striking, original characters. It is 
not too late to rescue from oblivion some sketches of these 
extraordinary men, and daguerreotype the leading traits oi 
their characters for the amusement and instruction of posterity. 
Many of these men, who have left their mark upon our institu- 
tions, could not boast of much book-learning; but they knew 
the world, and had the courage and talent that fitted them to 
fight successfully the great battle of life. 

The three liberal professions. Divinity, Law and Medicine, 
had also their representatives in our infant city; to which may 
well be added a fourth, the public press, which is peculiarly rich 


in historic reminiscences. The names of these persons are too 
numerous to mention here, and to select some might appear 
invidious. I therefore pass them over, and call your attention 
to the various religious and charitable institutions, the histories 
of some of which have already been ably given to the public; 
and to these the others should be added. 

But, above all, the history of this city, during the war of 
1 81 2, should be written and preserved among the archives of 
this Society. It is a dark and bloody chapter, filled with the 
horrors of a conflagration of the town in mid-winter, and the 
misery of the fugitives flying from the terrific scene, and the 
tomahawk and scalping knife. But even this dark picture may- 
be relieved by some deeds of heroism and generosity. 

Finally, let this institution be the grand repository of every 
thing calculated to throw light on our history. Books, news- 
papers, letters, pamphlets, maps, medals, and relics of every 
description, should be deposited here; and let our citizens 
unite heart and hand in building up this Society, which, while 
it does justice to the dead, reflects honor upon the living. 





As preliminary to the introduction of the subject which is 
to engage our attention at this time, it may be well for us to 
settle, so far as we can, the .time or period when the present 
name of our city became the popular one, and was introduced 
into general use. This is a more difficult matter than at first 
might be supposed. 

It is well known that when the agents of the " Holland Com- 
pany" first surveyed the land upon which our city stands, into 
village lots, in 1 801-2, they gave it the name of "New Amster- 
dam." But there is no evidence that this name enjoyed popu- 
lar favor or was in general use. The Company continued to 
use it in their conveyances of lots until 1811 or '12, when it 
was dropped, and the name of Buffalo substituted. 

"Buffalo Creek" had been the name by which this locality 
was known and designated, from a period certainly as early as 
1784; as it is used in the treaty made with the Six Nations 
at Fort Stanwix in that year. It is probable it was known by 
that name much earlier than this, perhaps from the lirst settle- 
ment by the Senecas; which it is likely did not take place until 



after Sullivan's Expedition in 1779. ^ ne name is mentioned 
in the " Narrative of the Captivity of the Gilbert Family,"' 
prisoners among the Senecas in 1780 or '82. It is also called 
"Buffalo Creek " in a treaty held with the "Six Nations" in 
1789, and again in the treaty at Canandaigua in 1794. 

By an act of the Legislature of this State, passed March 19th. 
1802, a treaty was authorized to be held with the Indians for the 
purchase of the " Mile Strip " on the Niagara river, from " Buf- 
faloes Creek" to the Steadman Farm; and on April 6th, 1S03, 
an act was passed by the Legislature of this State, guaranteeing 
to the Indians of the Six Nations the right "to pass and repass 
upon any turnpike road which may hereafter be established 
from the town of Canandaigua to Buffalo Creek or its vicinity." 

In 1805, Congress established a collection district, to be 
called the " District of Buffalo Creek;" the collector of said dis- 
trict to reside at "Buffalo Creek." Erastus Granger was the 
first resident Collector of Customs. General Irvine, of Penn- 
sylvania, had been appointed the first Surveyor of Customs, 
when this place was included in the District of Presque Isle, 
now Erie. 

The name "Buffalo," which was evidently derived from the 
name of the creek, was used to designate the settlement here, 
quite early. In a letter of General Irvine to General Wash- 
ington in 1788, this place is spoken of as "Buffalo." I have 
found no other record of the name as early as this, and wras 
led for that reason to doubt the correctness of the copyxrf 
the letter as given in the Historical Magazine of February. 
1863; and I wrote to Dr. YV. H. Irvine, who furnished it for 
publication. The following is his answer: 

" It is now some forty odd years since I made the copy of the letter to 
which you refer, and I cannot say that I committed no error in transcribing 
from the original ; hut I think I must have made a /if, -ml <v/r. I CCfl 
could not have manufactured the remarks' in \fchich the word 'Buffalo' oc- 

General Irvine, from his having commanded the Western 


Department from 1781 to 1783, and engaged in the defense of 
the frontier, must have been familiar with all the names of 
localities in Western New York; and you will note the expres- 
sion is, "from Buffalo to Presque Isle," — the latter being the 
name of the present city of Erie. Presque Isle was then in 
the State of New York, and Mr. Irvine adds: 

"And to his (Gen. Irvine's) address our state is indebted for the acquisition 
of ' The Triangle,' or Erie county." 

Mr. B. W. Pratt, now living, with whom I have recently con- 
versed on the subject, and whose recollections seem to be very 
clear and distinct, says, that when his father, Mr. Samuel Pratt, 
returned to Vermont from a visit to this place in 1803, he 
called it Buffalo. They were to remove to "Buffalo," and did 
so, arriving here in 1804. 

Our legislative records show that as early as 1772, the state, 
then a colony, was divided into counties, and the whole western 
part of the state was included in " Tryon county," after Gov- 
ernor Tyron, the last of the Royal Governors. 

In 1784 the name was changed to "Montgomery county," 
after General Richard Montgomery ; and in 1801 the County 
of Ontario was organized. The boundary extended west to 
the state line ; and all that part of the county west of the 
Genesee river was organized into a town, by the name of 
" Northampton," — a pretty extensive town, truly. 

In 1802, the County of Ontario was again divided, and the 
County of Genesee erected; and in 1808 the County of Niagara 
was established, the court-house and jail to be built "at Buf- 
falo, or New Amsterdam." 

By the same act, the village of Buffalo was included in the 
town of Willink, which bounded west on the Cattaraugus 
creek. In 1808 the town of Buffalo was erected, extending 
easterly to what is known as the "transit line," and in 1813 
the village of Buffalo received its first charter. 

I have been perhaps needlessly particular in mentioning all 
these changes in the names and boundaries of the towns and 


counties in Western New York, as they are all matters of rec- 
ord. But, as facts, they are not familiar even to those most 
conversant with our early history; and they serve better than 
almost everything else, to show the great change and rapid 
improvement which have taken place within the recollection 
of some who are now living. I trust I shall be excused, there- 
fore, for referring to them in this place, and at this time. 

Professor Timothy I) wight, who visited Buffalo in 1804, 
speaks of the then population thus: 

"The inhabitants are a casual collection of adventurers, and have the 
usual character of such adventurers, thus collected, when remote from regular 
society. \Ve saw about as many Indians in this village as white people." 

A misapprehension prevails to some extent in regard to the 
Indian names as applied to this locality, which had better be 
explained before entering upon the main question, as it may 
serve to disencumber the subject before us, of what has embar- 
rassed the minds of some who have supposed they discovered 
what appeared to be mistakes or contradictions. 

The Indians applied the name "Te-osah-way," or in our 
language, "Place of Basswood," to their settlement ox village; 
and "Tick-e-ack-gou-ga-ha-unda" or " Buffalo creek," to the 
stream only. 

The supposed discrepancy between " Te-osah-way " and 
"Te-hos-ororon" consists in the fact that the former is the 
Seneca, and the latter the Mohawk pronunciation of the same 
word.' So also in regard to what has been suggested to be a 
mistake of the scribe, or interpreter, in using the name " Buf- 
falo creek " instead of u Beaver creek " in the treaty with the 
Six Nations at Fort Stanwix in 1784, and in other public rec- 
ords, between that time and 1790, when Corn Planter is said 
to have, on one occasion, called it " Beaver creek." 

It is much more reasonable to suppose that the mistake was 
made in the interpretation of Corn Planter's speech, t 
reason that the name of the beaver ami the buffalo, in the S« ti- 
cca tongue, have precisely the same termination; and might, 


by an unskillful or inattentive interpreter, be mistaken one for 
the other; for "Buffalo" is " Tick-e-ack-gou; " "Beaver" is 
M Ack-gou-e-ack-gou." Here, undoubtedly, was the mistake; 
and not in the treaties and other public records, where the 
name " Buffalo creek " is uniformly used. I never heard the 
name "Beaver creek" applied to this stream, in an intercourse 
of more than twenty-five years with the Senecas. 

In the Inaugural Address of the Hon. President of this Soci- 
ety, last year, the origin of the name our city bears, was made 
the subject of discussion; and doubts were expressed in regard 
to the theory entertained that it was derived from the supposed 
fact, that the buffalo or American bison, formerly visited this 
locality. These doubts were expressed in the following lan- 

11 1 have never seen any reliable statement that the buffalo, in his wild 
state, was ever found in Western New York. I believe that his native haunt 
was in the great prairies of the West, and nowhere else on this Continent." 

In an article which appeared in the Historical Magazine for 
December, 1862, remarking upon these observations, the writer 
cites a number of authorities to show that the buffalo not only 
once lived in the western part of this state, in Ohio, Ken- 
tucky and Virginia, but ranged over nearly the whole of the 
North American Continent. Another writer, in the January 
number of the same magazine, throws doubt upon all the 
authorities quoted by the December correspondent, and agrees 
with Mr. Fillmore, and says: 

" From all my reading, I had concluded that the bison was not found in 
the lake region, and was never as far west (east) as New York (state.)" 

It is, perhaps, not surprising that the general reader of the 
early "French Relations" should find very little to instruct 
or enlighten either in matters of Science or Natural History. 
The mission of the early Jesuit writers was of a different char- 
acter, and embraced far different objects* and if we find oc- 
casional errors of fact, and sometimes more than discrepancies 

•Sec Address, ante, p. 3. 


of statement in regard to their peculiar purposes and pursuits, 
it should not go to invalidate their statements in regard to 
matters of entire indifference. It will not escape the attentive 
reader of these early writers, that there existed a feeling, to 
say the least of it, of rivalry between the Franciscans, who 
were the very earliest missionaries to the New World, and the 
Jesuits, who followed them', and ultimately supplanted them 
altogether. Nor should it be forgotten that the self-denying 
labors of these men were made available by the French gov- 
ernment for political purposes; and that their influence was a 
real "power in the State." 

The question as to the origin of the name of our city engaged 
the public attention at a former period of our history. Nearly 
twenty years ago an anonymous communication* appeared in 
the Commercial Advertiser, then edited by the late Dr. Foote. 
The following is a copy: 

V Mr. Editor : — I understand the Indian name of Buffalo creek is To- 
se-o-way. Will some of your Indian philological correspondents give us the 
meaning of the word ? I should be happy, also, to know the origin of the 
present name of our city. "Q." 

The inquiry thus made called out several replies in the papers 
then published; all anonymous. One in the Daily Pilot was .is 

" The name of the Big Buffalo creek, and the point of land where <> - .:r 
•city is built, in the Seneca tongue, is Do-yo-wa, pronounced Do-sh-wa, sig- 
nifying ' the Place of Bass-wood,' on account of the great quantity of that 
tree in the vicinity. Sometimes it is pronounced Da-sha-ho, — I) taking the 
sound of T. You are, undoubtedly, familiar with the anecdote} relating to 
the ' buffalo meat ' from which the name of the city arises. 

"O-iu.-ma." : 

Another communication, dated ll Buffalo Creek Reservation."' 
appeared in the Commercial Advertiser at the same time, which 
is as follows: 

♦Now known to be by <). H. MARSHALL, ESQ. 

t See, for a ser-,i<m of this anecdote, Inaugural Address, <•*/*, p. 4. MmI the letter of 
Rev. Ashek Wright, /<»$/, p. 37; 

% A. J. SllKI.DOS, Km„>. 


"In reply to the inquiries of your correspondent 'Q,' in your paper of 
June 26th, permit me to say that the old Indians tell us that the banks of 
the Buffalo creek, for some distance from its mouth, were anciently lined 
with bass-wood trees ; hence the name Ti-yu-syo-wa (with the last vowel na- 
salized) which means ' at the place of bass-tuoods;' or, as our venerable ex- 
President (Van Buren) has it, at ' Lindenwald.' As to the origin of the 
name ' Buffalo,' I am as much in the dark as your correspondent. 

" Ga-i-wi-yu."* 
Another communication to the Conunereial Advertiser was 
published at about the same date, from which the following is 
an extract: 

" Taking it for granted that the inquiry as to the origin and meaning of 
the name ' Tu-shu-way ' was made with a desire for information, I cheerfully 
contribute what little I possess, to throw light upon the early history of our 
city; connected as it is with the history of a noble race, fast sinking into ob- 
livion; and whose unwritten history lingers only in the recollection of a few 
survivors of the once-powerful 'Six Nations.' Although the different tribes 
composing that great confederacy spoke different dialects, it is evident they 
sprang from the same original source. Hence it is not unlikely that the 
names of places given by former tribes, may have been retained by the Sen- 
ecas, and thus their original signification lost. 

" The occupation or settlement of Buffalo by the Senecas is of compara- 
tively recent date. The Indian tradition is, that the Eries, a powerful and 
warlike nation, who resided upon the south .shore of our lakes, with other 
confederate tribes, here and on the Eighteen Mile and, perhaps, Cattaraugus 
creeks, were overthrown by a numerous war party of the Six Nations, in a 
great battle fought at, or near, the outlet of the Iloneoye lake, in (now) On- 
tario county. The Might of the Eries and their allies immediately followed. 
They were pursued by the victorious warriors of the Six Nations, for rive 
months, and were driven beyond the Mississippi. 

" The occupation of this locality by the Senecas followed these events. 
When they arrived here, they found huts, or houses, covered with bass-wood 
bark. This tree has the peculiarity of beillg easily peeled, at all seasons of 
the year, and the wood was used for canoes; and on these accounts it assumed 
an importance in the eyes of the aboriginal settler, equal to that of a stone 
quarry or an extensive pinery to the pioneers of our earl} settlements m more 
civilized life. This, to them, important characteristic was seized upon. and. 
probably, stood prominent among the inducements tcTimmigrate hither. 

♦Kiev. AsHKK Wriciht, 


'■' The name ' 7'e-osah-u>ay' is a compound word, significant of this fact. 
It is not literally 'osah,' 'bass-wood, 1 nor ' cush-nah,' ' bark, 1 as some con- 
tend, but ' Te-osah-xvayJ that is, ' where bass-wood is,' or, ' the place of bass- 
wood. ' 

" The Senecas were conversant with the fact that the buffalo formerly vis- 
ited the ' salt lick,' or spring (on the bank of the creek) in this vicinity: 
and hence they called Buffalo creek 4 Tick-e-ack-gott-ga-ha-unda ,' and Buffalo 
village ' Tick-e-ack-gou-ga.' But ' Te-osah-way* was the earlier designation^ 
and, probably, originated in the name I have suggested. 

" Ki-eu-wa-na." * 

A communication from "Q," the author of the original in- 
quiry, appeared in the Commercial Advertiser soon after the 
publication of the foregoing, from which I make the following 

" Mr. Editor: — I have been much interested in the respective attempts 
of my brothers O-ge-ma, Ki-eu-wa-na and Ga-i-wt-u, to throw light, in 
answer to my inquiry, upon the meaning of the Indian name of Buffalo creek, 
written by me To-se-o-way; that being the designation upon Joseph and 
Benjamin Ellicott's map of the Holland Purchase, published in 1S00. 

"Although my brothers do not quite agree in their orthography, there 
seems to be no essential difference between them. The word, as written by 
Ga-I-WI-U, is ' Ti-yu-syo-wa,' which orthography I prefer to that of Tu-shu- 
way, or Do-yo-wa. The former, when properly pronounced, has the sono- 
rous and musical peculiarities of the Seneca tongue. O-GE-MA and K.I-EU- 
WA-NA, who are independent witnesses, have undoubtedly arrived at the true 
meaning of the word, which has reference to the bass-woods which formerly 
lined the banks of the creek. The primitive meaning is, ' among the bass- 

"O-ge-ma and Ki-eu-wa-na differ in their explanation of the origin of 
the name of Buffalo. The former has made too large draughts upon tietioiv 
to entitle his legend to credit ; and thereby throws doubt upon the existence 
of any such 'chronicle' as he refers to. The statement of Ki-eu-wa-na is 
more plausible, showing that our creek and the neighboring Indian village 
were named by the Indians after the buffalos, which formerly frequented the 
well-known ' lick ' on its banks. 

" History establishes the fact that these animals formerly ranged as far 
east as the St. Lawrence. " "Q." 

This last statement of "Q" is. undoubtedly, a mistake, into 

* The Author. 


which he has been led, as others have been, by reading the 
journal of Father Le Moine, of a journey he made from Que- 
bec to the village of the Onondagas, in 1654, in which he speaks 
of a herd of wild cows that he saw on the banks of the River 
St. Lawrence, above the rapids, five or six hundred in one drove; 
but they were, undoubtedly, moose or elk. For on his return 
voyage he says, under date of September 4th (of the same year): 

"Traveling through vast prairies, we saw, in divers quarters, immense herds 
of wild bulls and cows. Their horns resemble, in some respects, the antlers 
of the stag." 

Of course, they were either elk or moose. In another place 
he says: 

" Droves of twenty cows plunged into the water, as if to meet us. Some 
were killed, for the sake of amusement, with the blows of an axe." 

Perhaps it is no more surprising that the moose were once so 
plenty, where now they are unknown, than that buffalos should 
have once roamed over the spot where we now dwell, and left 
their bones as the only memorial of their presence, mingled 
with those of other animals about the salt lick (near the sulphur 
spring) in our immediate vicinity. 

But, as has been already observed, doubts have been enter- 
tained and expressed, as to the truth or probability of the state- 
ments upon which the theory as to the origin of the name of 
our city. rested, from the supposed improbability of the tradition 
of the Indians on that subject. These doubts are predicated 
upon the insufficiency of the "evidence that the buffalo in his 
wild state was ever found in Western New York;" the views 
presented being, first, that none of the early visitors to this re- 
gion, who have left a record of their travels, saw them; and, 
second, that the great prairies of the West being their "native 
haunts," they were never found in this region. Let us examine 
these two classes of objections in a spirit of candor, and see 
whether they are entitled to the weight given them by those 
who have examined the subject with equal candor and patience 

In regard to the first class of objections, if it is intended to 


assume that there is no recorded evidence of the fact that buf- 
falos were seen here by those who made the record, it is, un- 
doubtedly, true; but it by no means follows that there is no 
"reliable " evidence of the fact. 

The nature of the case precludes the possibility of such testi- 
mony; and if we show that we have the best evidence that the 
nature of the case admits of, and that it all concurs in estab- 
lishing the truth of the Indian tradition, that the buffalo, in his 
wild state, visited the salt lick upon the banks of our creek, then 
the statement of our oldest Indian residents, made in 1820, is 
entitled to rank as "reliable testimony." 

I consulted the oldest men of the Senecas, living in 1820, as 
to their own knowledge and belief on the subject. They had no 
doubt of the fact, though none of them pretended to have seen 
them here. They assured me that within their own recollec- 
tion the bones of the buffalo, with those of other herbivorous 
animals which had been killed by the wolves, panthers and 
other carnivorous beasts that resorted hither in pursuit of their 
prey, were found at the salt lick. When asked as to the period 
when buffalos were seen here, they fixed the time, in round 
numbers, at one hundred years before that time, which would 
be in 1720. It is not probable that the buffalo ranged as far 
east as this, long after the introduction and general use of fire- 
arms among the Iroquois or Six Nations, which was prob- 
ably prior to this date; and as they only visited this locality at 
particular seasons of the year, and being a very shy animal, 
particularly when solitary or not in herds, they would be easily 
frightened away, perhaps not to return, even temporarily. 

The Indians began to obtain fire-arms as early as 1650 or '00, 
as we find it was made a subject of complaint by the French 
government in Canada, that the English or Dutch, in New 
York, were furnishing arms and ammunition to the Iroquois; 
which enabled them to carry on a 'destructive war against the 
western nations who claimed French protection. It could not 
be expected, therefore, that the fust Europeans who visited 


here would find the buffalo. He had previously been driven 
from this locality, which may never have been his permanent 
residence. It is admitted, I believe, that within the recollection 
of persons now living, the buffalo has "been seen in his wild 
state," in Ohio, probably within less than two hundred miles 
of this city. Mr. Thomas Moorehead, a resident of Zanesville, 
writes thus, under date of February 13th, 1863: 

" Capt. Ross, who has lived here fifty-five years, says that Ebenezer and 

James Ryan often talked with him of having killed buffalos on the branch 

•of Will's creek, which is still called the ' Buffalo Fork,' twenty miles east of 

Zanesville. The Ryans were Indian fighters, and this must have been before 

Wayne's treaty. Buffalo ' beats ' are frequent on the ridges between this 

place and Marietta; at least there are several of those beats." 

In view of these facts, it would be extraordinary indeed, if, 
in the absence of civilization or any natural obstacles to oppose 
or hinder his progress, the buffalo should not range as far east 
as this, and even farther; for there is nothing in the nature of 
the country or its climate to prevent this, as we shall abundantly 
show. Early travelers, almost without exception, speak of the 
buffalo as being abundant on the south shore of Lake Erie. 

The journey of La Salle from the Illinois river to Quebec 
in the winter of 1680, must have carried him through what are 
now the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Western Virginia, 
and a part of Pennsylvania and Western New York. But he 
evidently kept to the south of the shore of Lake Erie. Ik- 
gives a list of the animals that inhabited the region through 
which he passed. He says: 

"The mountains are covered with hears, stags, wild goats, turkey-cocks 
and wolves, who are so fierce as hardly to be frightened at our guns. The 
wild bulls are grown somewhat scarce, since the Illinois have been at war 
with their neighbors (the Iroquois), for now all parties are continually a-hunt- 
ing of them." 

La Hontan, who accompanied an expedition of the Illinois 
against the Iroquois, in 16X7-8, coasted down the south shore 
of Lake Erie. He savs: 


44 The Lake Erie is justly distinguished with the illustrious name of Conti 
— a French governor — for assuredly it is the finest lake upon earth. You 
may judge of the goodness of the climate from the latitude of the countries 
which surround it. I cannot express what vast quantities of deer and turkeys 
are to be found in those woods, and in the vast meadows that lie upon the 
south side of the lake. At the bottom of the lake {fond dn lac) we find wild 
beeves, upon the banks of two rivers that disembogue into it without cata- 
racts or rapid currents. The banks of the lake are commonly frequented by 
none but warriors, whether the Iroquois, the Illinois, or the Omiamics, &c, 
and it is very dangerous to stop there. By this means it comes to pass that 
stags, roebucks and turkeys run in great bodies up and down the shore all 
round the lake. 

14 In former timers the Errieronons and the Andastagueronons lived upon 
the confines of the lake, but they were exterminated by the Iroquois, as well 
as other nations marked upon the map." 

Charlevoix, who made the journey from Quebec to the Mis- 
sissippi in 1 72 1, following nearly the route of La Salle in 1679, 
in describing the journey across Lake Ontario, says: 

"We intended to go into the Riviere Aux Bccufs (Buffalo river), but we 
found the stream shut up by the sands, which often happens to the little 
rivers that empty into the lakes. About two in the afternoon, we entered 
into the River Niagara, formed by the great fall, which I shall mention pres- 

After describing the passage up the river to a point beyond 
which they could not go with their boat, and their visit on foot 
to the falls, and passage up the river to the rapids at what is 
now Black Rock, he proceeds: 

44 I departed on the 27th of May, 1721, from the entrance of the Lake 
Erie. The route is to keep the north coast. Lake Erie is a hundred leagues 
long from east to west; its breadth from north to south is about thirty. The 
name it bears is that of a nation of the Huron language, settled on it> bor- 
ders, and which the Iroquois have entirely destroyed. Erie means eat; and 
the Eries are named in some of the ' Relations,' the ' Nation of the Cat.* 

" The 2Sth I went nineteen leagues, and found myself over against the 
great (gra/id) river, which comes from the ea^st in 42 dog. 15 min. The rir-^t 
of June, being Whit-Sunday, after going up a pretty river almost an hour. 
Which comes from a great way, and runs between two fine meadows, we 
made a portage of about sixty paces, to escape going round a point which 


advances fifteen leagues into the lake. They call it 'Long Point.' It is 
very sandy, and produces naturally many vines. At every place where I 
landed, I was enchanted with the beauty and variety of the landscape, 
bounded by the finest forests in the world. Besides this, water-fowl swarmed 

" I cannot say there is such a plenty of game in the woods, but I know 
that on the south side of the lake, there are vast herds of wild cattle. On the 
fourth (of June) we were stopped a good part of the day on a point which 
runs three leagues north and south, which they call Point Pelee.* There are 
many bears in this country; and last winter they killed on Point Pelee alone 
above four hundred." 

After describing his journey to Mackinac and to the mouth 
of the St. Joseph river, near the southern extremity of Lake 
Michigan, where the French had previously established a post 
and built a fort, he passed up that river to a point where it 
bends farthest to the south (South Bend.) They carried their 
canoes over a short portage to the head waters of the Kan- 
kakee, a confluent of the Illinois, and passed down that tortu- 
ous stream through extensive flat prairies, until they entered 
the Illinois river. He says: 

"The meadows here extend beyond the sight, in which the buffaloes go 
in herds of two or three hundred. Everywhere we met with paths that are 
as beaten as they can be in the most populous countries, yet nothing passes 
through them but buffaloes." 

Thus far we have the evidence of the early French travelers. 
They establish the fact of the existence of the buffalo upon the 
south shore of Lake Erie down to about 1721. 

We will now proceed to examine the evidence derived from 
other sources, subsequent to the period last named. 

I have already produced evidence of the presence oi the 
buffalo in the south-eastern part of Ohio, in the vicinity o\ 
Zanesville, to the period of the first settlement of that state. 
about the close of the war of the Revolution. Mr. Thomas 
Ashe, in a letter dated at Erie, Pa., after he had made a minute 

♦ crossing place for kind, of animals, as wdl rs wfld turkeys, 

passing from island to island, on the ice, in winter, and by flight or >\\ immiltg in the summer. 


examination of the head waters of the Allegany and Monon- 
gahela rivers, in 1806, gives the following statement of an old 
man, one of the first settlers ,in that country, who built a log 
house (hut) upon the borders of a salt spring (lick): 

"He informed me that for several seasons the buffaloes paid him their 
visits with the utmost regularity. They traveled in single files, always fol- 
lowing each other at equal distances, forming droves on their arrival, of 
about three hundred each. The first and second year, so unacquainted were 
these poor brutes with the use of this man's house, or its nature, that in a 
few hours they rubbed the house completely down, taking delight in turning 
the logs off with their horns; while he had some difficulty to escape being 
trampled under their feet, or crushed in his own ruins. At that period he 
supposed there could not be less than ten thousand in the neighborhood of 
the spring. They sought for no manner of food, but only bathed and drank, 
three or four times a day, and rolled in the earth (mud) or reposed with their 
flanks distended, in the adjacent shades; and on the fifth or sixth day, sep- 
arated into distinct droves, bathed, drank and departed in single files, accord- 
ing to the exact order of their arrival. They all rolled successively in the 
same hole, and each thus carried away a coat of mud to preserve the mois- 
ture of the skin; which when hardened and baked in the <un, would resist 
the stings of millions of insects that otherwise would persecute these peaceful 
travelers, to madness, or even to death. 

'• In the first and second years, this old man, with some companions, killed 
six or seven hundred of these noble creatures, merely for the sake of their 
skins, which, to them, were only worth two shillings each; and after this 
work of death, they were obliged to leave the place till the following season, 
or till the wolves, bears, panthers, eagles, rooks, &c, had devoured the car- 
casses, and abandoned the place for other prey. In the two following years 
the same persons killed great numbers out of the first droves that arrived, 
skinned them, and left their bodies exposed to the sun and air. But they 
soon had reason to repent of this; for the remaining droves as they came up in 
succession, stopped, gazed on the mangled and putrid bodies, sorrowfully 
moaned or furiously lowed aloud, and returned instantly to the \rilderness in 
an unusual run, without tasting their favorite spring, or licking the impreg- 
nated earth, which was also once their most agreeable occupation. Nor did 
they, or any of their race, ever vi>it the neighborhood again." 

There are numerous salt springs, or. " lie ks," both in the 
eastern part of Ohio and in Western Pennsylvania; and Pr. 
W. H. Irvine informs me that some of the oil springs were 


" deer licks." It was in the vicinity of one of these springs, in 
Western Pennsylvania, probably not over one hundred miles 
from this city, that this old man's cabin was located. If he 
was seventy-five years old when he made this statement to Mr. 
Ashe in 1806, we may fix the date of the exodus of the buffalo 
at about the year 1755. 

Dr. S. P. Hildreth, who now resides at Marietta, Ohio, writes 
me under date of February 25th, 1863, as follows: 

"There is no doubt of their (the buffalos) traversing the whole state of 
Ohio easterly into Pennsylvania, and the northern portion of New York, in 
the early stages of our history, or as late as the year 1750. I came to Mari- 
etta in 1S06. I have seen many of the old inhabitants who have killed them, 
and eaten of their flesh. The flesh of the fat cow buffalo was considered to 
be better than that of domestic cattle. Near the vicinity of salt springs their 
paths or roads were very distinct and plain, after I came to Ohio; and to this 
day, on the hills, are large patches of ground, destitute of bushes or trees, 
where they used to congregate, to stamp off the flies, digging the surface into 
deep hollows called ' buffalo stamps.' The forests here were very open, and 
filled with rich pea-vines, and buffalo clover, a variety between the white and 
red kinds of our day." 

Mr. Albert Gallatin, when a young man, was employed as a 
surveyor in Western Virginia, and made the question of the 
eastern range of the buffalo a subject of investigation and 
study. He has given the result of this investigation in an arti- 
cle furnished for publication in the transactions of the Ameri- 
can Ethnological Society, vol. ii., p. 50. In his introduction 
he says: 

"Colonies of the buffalos had traversed the Mississippi, and were at one 
time abundant in the forest country between the lakes and the Tennessee 
river, south of which I do not believe they were ever seen. The name of 
' Buffalo creek ' between Pittsburg and Wheeling proves that they had spread 
thus far eastwardly, when that country was first visited by the Anglo-Ameri- 

" In my time, 17S4-5, they were abundant on the south side of the Ohio. 
between the Great and Little Kanawha. I have w during eight month-., Used 
principally on their flesh. The American settlement* have, of course, de- 
stroyed them, and not one is now seen east of the Mississippi. They had 
also, at a former period, penetrated east of the Allegany mountains. Put I 


have been mistaken in supposing that they were to be seen only on the head 
waters of the Roanoke or Cape Fear rivers. It appears by the publication 
of the "Westover papers, that as late as the year 1728 they were found by Col. 
Bird on the borders of Virginia and North Carolina, and also farther north, 
in what, if I am not mistaken, is now called Southampton county, in about 
latitude thirty-seven degrees and longitude seventy-seven degrees. The fre- 
quent name of ' Buffalo creek ' indicates their former range." 

In a letter written to me in March last, by John H. James, 
Esq., of Urbana, Ohio, this suggestion is made. He says: 

*' I have had occasion to discover that .all our early hunters, and those best 
acquainted with the Indians, never gave an Indian name of any stream, but 
always a translation of it; hence our numerous ' Deer creeks,' ' Buck creeks,' 
4 Beaver creeks,' &c, all of which had been called so by the Indians. Your 

stream would naturally have its name in the same manner." 


There are abundant authorities that might be quoted to show 
that the buffalo was found not only in Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Kentucky and other adjoining states, but also in our own state. 
Thomas Morton, one of the early settlers of New England, in 
his "New English Canaan," published in 1632, says: 

" They (the Indians) have also made description of great herds of well 
grown beasts that live about the parts of this lake Erocoise (now Lake On- 
tario), such as the Christian world, until this discovery, hath not been made 
acquainted with. These beasts are of the bigness of a cows, their flesh being 
very good food, their hides good leather, their fleeces very useful, being a 
kind of "woolle, and the salvages do make garments thereof." 

We have already mentioned that Charlevoix speaks of the 
Riviere aux Ba'iifs (Buffalo creek) now "Oak Orchard creek," 
a few miles east of the entrance to the Niagara on Lake On- 
tario, in 1 72 1. Its name was undoubtedly derived in the same 
way as our own Buffalo creek, but it had not the same means of 
perpetuating it by being the location of an aboriginal city; and 
had it not been for this early record, it would not now be know h 
that it ever bore the name, since it *s not known to the present 
inhabitants of that locality, as I have taken some pains to 


Doctor Richardson, in his Fauna Boreali Americana, a com- 
pendious history of the former range of the buffalo, or Ameri- 
can bison, says: 

"At the period when Europeans began to form settlements in North 
America, this animal was occasionally met with on the Atlantic coast: -but 
even then it appears to have been rare to the eastward of the Apalachian 
mountains, for Lawson has thought it to be a fact worth recording that two 
were killed in one year on the Appomattox, a branch of the James river; and 
Warden mentions that at no distant date, herds of them existed in the west- 
ern parts of Pennsylvania, and as late as 1766 they were pretty numerous in 
Kentucky. Great Slave lake was at one time the northern boundary of their 
range (in the fur region) ; but of late years, according to the testimony of 
the natives, they have taken possession of the limestone district, on the north 
side of that lake, and have wandered to the vicinity of the Great Marten 
lake, in latitude sixty-three or sixty-four degrees. 

" So far as I have been able to ascertain, the limestone and sandstone for- 
mations lying between the Rocky mountain ridge and the lower eastern 
chain of primitive rocks, are the only districts in the fur countries visited by 
the bison. 

" In these comparatively level tracts, there is much prairie land, on which 
they find good grass in the summer; and also many marshes overgrown with 
bulrushes and carices, which supply them with winter food. Salt springs 
and lakes also abound on the confines of the limestone, and there are several 
well-known salt springs where bison are sure to be found at all seasons oj the 

Dr. Richardson accompanied the expedition of Capt. Back, 
in search of Capt. Ross, in 1832, as naturalist, and had superior 
opportunities to inform himself in regard to what he wrote of. 
He adds: 

" The bisons are truly a wandering race, their motives of restlessne>> being 
either disturbance from hunters, or change of pasture." 

And he might have added, — search of salt licks or springs. 

"They are less wary when they are in herds, and will then often follow 
their leaders, regardless of. or trampling down, the hunter, posted in their 

In the Natural History of the State of New York, published 


under an act of the Legislature, Mr. DeKay speaks of the buf- 
falo as a native of this state, but "long since extirpated." 

In the Documentary History, published by the same authority, 
we find, in a memoir of the Indians of Canada, by M. de Vau- 
dreuil, under date of 17 18, that it is said: 

" Buffaloes abound on the south shore of Lake Erie, but not on the north." 


" Thirty leagues up the Miamie river, at a place called La Glaize, buffa- 
loes are always found." 

He also speaks of the "Riviere aux Bmifs" on Lake On- 
tario, in this state, which was mentioned by Charlevoix. 

It is hardly necessary to accumulate testimony on this branch 
of our subject, which might be done almost indefinitely. It will 
be readily seen, that any argument, built upon the hypothesis 
that the buffalo, in his wild state, was never found in Western 
New York, or that he would not voluntarily live, even tempo- 
rarily, in a climate like ours, or that his native haunt was con- 
fined to the great prairies of the West, will be found untenable. 
That he ranged over a vast extent of country when undisturbed, 
and no natural obstacles were in his way, is proved by all his- 
tory and observation. 

All accounts agree in representing the buffalo to be a great 
traveler. Notwithstanding his enormous and apparently un- 
wieldy body, and comparatively small limbs, he has wonderful 
powers of endurance, and a speed nearly equal to that of an 
ordinary horse. Says Irving: 

"Of all animals, a buffalo, when closely pressed by a hunter, has an aspect 
the most diabolical. His two short black horns curve out of a huge frontlet 
of shaggy hair, his mouth is open, his tongue parched and drawn up into B 
half crescent, his eyes glow like coals of fire, his tail i> erect, tufted, and 
whisking about in the air ; he is a perfect picture of mingled rage and 

Godman says: « 

" They have been seen in herds of three, four and five thousand, blacken- 
ing the plains as far as the eye could view. Some travelers are of the opinion 



that they have seen as many as eight or ten thousand in the same herd. The 
buffalo was formerly found throughout the whole territory of the United 
States, with the exception of that part east of the Hudson river and Lake 
Champlain, and of narrow strips on the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico." 

These are, by no means, all the evidences going to sustain the 
Indian tradition, that the buffalo, in his native state, was once 
a visitor, at least, in this locality. That he was ever seen here 
by white men, is not at all probable, for the reason suggested, 
that he had been before they came, as he has been since, driven 
from all his ancient haunts, by advancing civilization; the repre- 
sentative of that civilization being fire-arms in the hands of the 
Iroquois; and the only memorial he left here was his bleaching 
bones around the "salt lick," on the banks of "Buffalo creek." 

But the buffalos, like their contemporaries, the aboriginal in- 
habitants of this Continent, are a doomed race ! They have 
been driven little by little from all their ancient haunts or homes; 
even their bones have decayed out of our sight, and it is even 
now questioned whether there was ever a buffalo here ! But 
when the last of his race shall have sunk down in silence and 
solitude, in the inaccessible gorges of the Rocky mountains, or in 
the far-off cold, sterile regions of the North, here shall flourish* 
in all its life, its activity and its beauty, a monument, to perpetu- 
ate his memory and his name, and carry it down the rapid stream 
of time, through all the generations of men who shall inhabit 
The City of Buffalo. 




Cattaraugus Reservation, April 30th, 1S55. 
My Dear Friend : 

Your letter has remained till now unanswered, because having just re- 
turned from Albany, it was necessary for me to devote a little time to bring- 
ing up the arrears of my business before I could devote myself to friends. I 
have but a few moments at command this afternoon, still I will reply briefly 
to your inquiries. 

The Indian name of the creek has no connection with the English. It 
indicates that at some time it was remarkable for the bass-wood trees along 
its banks. Oo-sah is the Seneca name of the bass-wood, and they called the 
creek and the tract near its mouth " Ti-yoos-yo-wa," i. e., at the place which 
abounds with bass-woods. This, at length, became shortened to " Do-syo- 
wa," the present name for the Creek, City and Reservation. 

As to the origin of " Buffalo," I have heard a .story of which I will state 
the principal points, but without at all vouching for its correctness, except to 
say that some one has so far endorsed it as to insert it in a book; the title of 
the book, however, I have forgotten. 

It is stated that, in an early day, while the present city was not yet entitled 
to rank as a village, some travelers from "down east" (probably from New 
York city), rinding themselves so far away in the woods, naturally enough 
concluded that they must be in the vicinity of the buffalo, and began to feel 
a strong hankering of appetite for buffalo venison. They inquired of " mine 
host," or some of his retainers, if the buffalo were not often seen in this re- 

• Of the Seneca Mission. Corresponding member of the Society. Died. April 13th, 1875. 

38 Correspondence on 

gion, and were told that, though not as abundant as formerly, still they were 
seen not unfrequently. This intelligence sharpened their appetites, and they 
resolved on a buffalo hunt at once; but finally concluded to leave the fatigu- 
ing portion of the enterprise to be performed by men more competent for 
the business, who were despatched at once in pursuit of the so much coveted 
game. In due season they returned, with the report that they had failed to 
capture the old ones, but had succeeded in taking a nice suckling, which was 
joyful news to the party, and they immediately required it to be served up; 
and feasted upon it, with great complacency, declaring that it had the finest 
relish of any meat they had ever tasted. 

In due time they returned home with high anticipations of being lionized 
by all their acquaintances in consequence of their good fortune; hut unluckily 
it leaked out, somehow, that the hunters, failing to find a buffalo calf, and 
•determined not to disappoint them by returning empty handed, had shot a 
Buffalo coir, the progeny of an old mare, that they happened to fall in with at 
ii sufficient distance in the forest, and they had actually been gratifying their 
palates a la Cossack, upon horse-flesh, while they supposed they were regaling 
themselves upon young buffalo. It was sufficient, ever afterward, to say 
*' Buffalo," to recall to every one of them a very vivid recollection of the lo- 
cality; and the joke having got into the possession of two or three mischief- 
loving tattlers, caused the name to be perpetuated in commemoration of the 
happy verdancy of the Gothamites. 

This is substantially the story as I saw or heard it several years ago; but 
•whether it hands down to us an actual occurrence, or was manufactured for 
the sport of it, I have no means of knowing. • My paper is full, so I will 
close for the present by subscribing myself 

Affectionately and respectfully yours, 

» A. Wright. 


Irving, N. V., July ioth, 1S63. 
Dear Sir : 

I have noticed, from time to time, a discussion in the newspapers, on the 
-subject of the name of Buffalo,— that is, why the City of the Lakes i> named 
"' Buffalo." 

The discussion, so far as I have seen, had not arrived at a satisfactory con- 
clusion. It has taken a wide range and *is distinguished for much ability 
and research. 

*Or tfon-noH-iic-uh. a Seneca chief, and Corresponding member. Pied Jan. 4. «•] • 


I will, also, say a few things in connection with the subject, in a simple 
way. I know the prevailing idea has been, that the name " Buffalo" orig- 
inated with the aborigines of the country, and that they probably gave 
that name, in their language, from some local cause or circumstances. Some 
have suggested, that the name was derived from the numerous herds of the 
buffalo or the "American bison," which roamed on the south shore of Lake 
Erie. The tradition of the Indians is to the effect that countless numbers 
of buffalo, many years ago, annually visited this region of country, in the 
months of June, July and August. The valleys and bottom lands were 
thickly covered with bulrushes which the buffalo were very fond of, and which 
were so thick that it is said a man could scarcely get through them. 

As to the question whether the buffalo migrated so far north and east as 
the foot of Lake Erie, the evidence in favor of it is too strong to admit of 
any doubt. The " footprints" of the buffalo are still visible in some locali- 
ties, as also the marks of the bear's tusks on the bark of the ancient tree* 
which now stand in our woods, and could easily be deciphered by the old 
hunters. The nature and habits of the animal, too, all go to prove the fact, 
that the buffalo, early in the summer, came north and east, and in the later 
.season receded to the south and west. 

But the simple fact, that the buffalo annually roved, in countless num- ' 
bers, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, is, to my mind, no evidence 
that the foot of the lake derived its name from that circumstance, any more 
than that of any other point where those animals were the most numerous, at 
-every season of the year. They were equally so, doubtless, along the shore 
•of the lake. I am of the opinion, therefore, that the name of Buffalo has no 
connection whatever with the animal of that name. The period when those 
animals resorted to this section of the country is too remote for the English 
to have given the translation of the Be+gi-yak-goh ('.' Buffalo," in English), 
or to have ascertained the peculiar circumstances connected with the animal, 
in the naming of " Buffalo creek," when it first was known by that name. 

When La Salle visited Buffalo in 1679, he found the Senecas near there, 
one hundred and odd years before Buffalo was settled by the whites. The 
Seneca Indians, in giving names to lakes, rivers, creeks, &c M generally hail 
reference to some permanent and natural characteristic of the locality. From 
my knowledge of the Seneca language, the Seneca name Dos-sAo-khm, is de- 
rived from a compound word O-o/t-sa, bass-wood, and Dt'-jV-oA, a cluster; 
hence, Bc--ya-o/i-sa-o/i is the original Seneca word, now spelt and pronounced 
Das-sko-tva, whether from a gradual change in the pronunciation oi the 
word, or for beauty merely, I cannot say. The meaning i>, that bass-wood 
clusters along the banks or edges of the creek. 

The north branch of the Buffalo creek, above Sulphur springs, is called by 


the Senecas, " Ga-gah-doh-ga" meaning "White-oak" creek, because, for- 
merly, scarcely any other than white-oak trees grew there. The middle 
branch, passing by Jack Berrytown's, retains the name Das-sho-iva. The 
east branch, passing through the old Onondaga village, is called Ga-an-na- 
da-dah, or the creek "that has slate-stone bottom." Where these branches 
united, some four or five miles from its mouth, following the meanderings of 
the creek, the banks were full of bass-wood trees, and the trunks of the trees 
were clustered with the second growth of bass-wood, so dense that when in 
leaf one could scarcely see the creek. Hence the Senecas called the creek 
De-ya-ooh-sa-oh. This, doubtless, is the true origin of the Seneca name of 
the creek. 

From whence then came the name of Buffalo? The Indian account is 
substantially this: that many years ago, De-gi-yah-gah (in English, Buffalo), 
a Seneca Indian of the wolf clan, built a bark cabin on the bank of the Buf- 
falo creek, and lived there many years until his death. His occupation was 
that of a fisherman. A fisherman, in ancient times, with the Senecas, was 
an important person from the fact that the Indians, in the fishing season, 
almost wholly subsisted on fish, and De-gi-yah-goli was the chief fisherman 
of the Nation. The theory then is, that when the white pioneers came to 
that creek, they doubtless entered into the bark cabin of Dc-gl-yah-goh, and 
learned from him his name; — and the pioneers translated and gave the name 
to " Buffalo creek," after the Seneca fisherman whose bark cabin stood U] a 
its banks. 

In like manner, at a more recent date, Old Smoke, the father of the 
Seneca chief Young King, gave name to " Smoke's creek," near which he 
lived. Nothing, however, now remains to tell of his former residence, except 
a few ancient apple trees. I have often seen the trees from the cars of the 
Lake Shore railroad. They stand a sad memorial of the untoward fate of 
my race. Smoke's name was Ga-ya-gua-doh, meaning the "smoke has dis- 
appeared," or the " smoke is lost." I might multiply instances of this kind. 
in the giving of names to certain localities of the country, but I must close. 
I have written this hastily. 

I am very respectfully yours, &c, 

N. T. Strong. 
To G. H. Salisbury, Esq., 

Cor. Sec. Buffalo Historical Society. 






i\, Aug. 13th, 


Irving, N. 
Dear Sir: 

I have read the paper you have prepared and read before the "Buffalo 
Historical Society" in April last; and which you were kind enough to send 
to me. 

I shall notice only your two principal points; I agree with you as to the 
first branch of the historical fact you have labored to prove, and I think with 
success; that is, as to the fact that the buffalo did range on the south shore 
of Lake Erie as far east as the foot of the lake; how much farther, I am not 
now prepared to say. . 

The old Indians of the present day believe this fact, as though they had 
seen the buffalo themselves in this section of the country. My father used 
to tell me that the Indians were in the habit of hunting the buffalo down the 
Allegany river in a certain season of the year; they went sometimes below 
Pittsburgh, although they found the buffalo above. The buffalo crossed the 
Allegany and Ohio at that time of the year in large droves, and as many as 
were desirable were easily killed. The description of the animal, his habits 
and actions, by Mr. Ashe, in your paper, corresponds precisely with the facts 
related by my father, as he received them from the hunters. As to the sec- 
ond branch of your article I have anxiously sought to inform myself more 
fully; but I confess I have failed to reconcile my previous views with those 
you have so ably advanced. 

My difficulties are, first, who among the Indians at that time could have 
possessed sufficient intelligence to communicate to an intelligent European 
interested in the traditional history of the country, as to the range and haunts 
of the buffalo in the vicinity of the now Buffalo creek, about the year 1775, 
or even before that period? On this point I have a very strong doubt; the 
lapse of time between the visits of the buffalo and the naming of the city of 
Buffalo is too considerable. If the tradition of the Seneca fathers had been 
communicated to the whites, why was no record made by them ? If the com- 
munication had been made to intelligent men, some record would have been 
preserved to this day. If no communication was ever made by the Indians 
to any European, that, of course, precludes the possibility of knowing any- 
thing in a reliable form. All is conjectural — even the twilight of tradition 
fails to give any light on the subject. Most men of that day were in the pur- 
suit of adventure; the claims of history were not thought of; other subjects 
engrossed men's minds. It is said that, in olden time, thjj buffalo congregated 
annually in great numbers, at The Lick or Salt Spring near Buffalo creek, 
hence the stream is called the " Buffalo creek." This is very plausible. 


But you will observe that the Indians gave names to the more prominent 
.and permanent features of nature, and according to the Seneca Indian cus- 
tom either Salt, O-ji-ka-toh in Seneca; Spring, O-do-sote in Seneca; Lick, Seneca; would be the natural and prominent features that would 
attach themselves to the creek; the buffalo here being merely incidental. 

The Indian idea of name is, that nature proclaims its own name, as illus- 
trated in the birds of the air, even to the smallest of the species: the Indian 
only repeats it. 

I have been trying in vain to find a river, creek, lake, or mountain that 
now bears the name of any herbivorous animal in our state. 

I have never heard anyone say among the Indians, that at any time " Buf- 
falo creek" was called in Seneca by that name. I have never heard any- 
body say, that at any time it was called " Beaver creek," Na-ga-nia-goh. 

That " Buffalo creek " was not popular with the more intelligent cla^se> 
at the time Mr. Ellicott laid out the village of New Amsterdam is evident. 
If it had been, he doubtless would have named it Buffalo at once. 

The analogous cases you have drawn from other localities merit some 
■consideration; but in the absence of all local authority, they hardly apply to 
our case. We must look at this practically. From all the facts and circum- 
stances, I think it is due to the truth of history to say that it is the Indian 
"Buffalo" to whom the creek and finally the city owes its name. Little 
fame will the poor Indian reap from it; but to the animal buffalo from which 
<loubtless he derived his name, the millions in all time to come will award 
that honor. So then, if you have failed to establish by traditional ur histor- 
ical authorities the position you have assumed, you will have a reason to 
know, that it is as though you had. 

I am verv respectfullv, yours, &c, 

X. T. Strong. 
To Hon. \Ym. Ketchum, 

Buffalo, X. V. 




Muse of the storied scroll, whose thoughtful eye 
Watched the long pageant of the years gone by; 
Whose patient art has touched and kept sublime 
All that is deathless of departed time: — 
Historic Muse, whose pilgrim feet have stood 
Where many a nation's star has set in blood, 
Or followed where the sacred dawn of Right 
Crept over Europe's late and lingering night, 
Shedding on Roman hills its passing smile, 
And brightening on the "silver-coasted isle": — 
Forth from thy home amid the graves of Kings 
And brooding gloom of half forgotten things, 
Come where thy broader path, ()! History, waits 
And walk with Empire through her western gates: 
Come where a fairer day to earth is born, — 
The Old World's evening is the New World's morn, — 

Note. — For the thread of story upon which a part of these verses is strunc. the 
writer is mainly indebted to O. H. Marshall, Esq., whose contributions to the Buffalo 
press some fifteen or twenty years ago, over the signature of "Q," comprise nearly all that 
is known of the early Indian history of this locality. The Kah-Kwah, or, as h was termed 
by the French missionaries, the Neutral Nation of Indians, is show n, we think conclusively, 
by Mr. Marshall to have been the tribe which inhabited the site of this city previo us to the 
conquest and occupation of the territory by the Seneca tribe of^he Iroquois confederacy. 
The Neutral Nation was so called from the fact that it was observed by the Jesuit travelers 
to be at peace with the neighboring peoples. 1 h<- date of the destruction of this remarkable 
tribe is fixed at about the year 1647, and various legends survive as to the circumstances 


And, in the lustre of that larger sun, 
Look forth and see thy grandest task begun. 
No pomp or kingly glory here has birth, ' 
Nor crumbling temple sinks to classic earth; 
But, young and fair, beneath these western skies, 
The emblems of a hundred empires rise. 
And here are fields, amid whose thundrous strife 
The Future's Hope, embattled, strikes for life. 
Even now the wind is warm with war's red rain, 
And Truth and Treason cross the sword again. 
Hither, O! History, come and breathless wait 
While Freedom trembles in the scale of Fate; 
Here bring the mirror of thy magic page, 
And catch the features of this grander age; 
Come, for the path that seeks the West is thine, 
And lo! we build thee, here, this wayside shrinel 

And, sooth, its site, that woos the pilgrim's stay. 
Might lure the Muse herself to brief delay: 
Yonder the Lake, with heaven upon its breast. 
Sleeps at the open portals of the West; 
And the strong River, like a god in wrath, 
Leaps from the calm upon his fateful path. 
From yon gray ruin's shade the forms are fled 
That came, but now, up-thronging from the dead; 
But the great heart of Commerce, full and strong. 
Throbs to the chime of swarthy Labor's son*:: 

which occasioned the Iroquois invasion. The most dramatic of these was transferred to 
paper by W.\i. Krtchim, F.s (> >., in the Commercial Advertiser of July 13th, 1845. This 
is related as a tradition of the Krie or Cat Nation, but we believe "Q" has proved satisfac- 
torily that this tribe inhabited a region to the westward, and that the tragedy emh<xiied in 
the legend really refers to the Kah-Kwahs. According to the narrative of Mr. ketch um, 
the fatal quarrel with the Iroquois arose out of a sort of barbaric tournament, which took 
place at Tu-shu-way ("the place of the linden or bass* wood trees," as the ladiaa 
formerly located here was called), and in which the'young men of the Iroquois a:ul of the 
resident tribe participated. A relentless war followed this scene of savage rc\c!ry. which 
ended only in the almost total annihilation of the Neutral Nation. It is said that the last 
battle was fought near the old Indian mission house, a few miles from here. 


Here, in the coming years, the Muse shall rest, 
And here to-night we hail her as our guest; 
And, sleeping by the sounding River's stream, 
Her slumber with its visioned Past shall gleam, — 
Hark, while I strive to read from History's dream: — 

The city sleeps; its changing features fade 
In the green depths of many a rustling glade; 
The wind of summer whispers sweet and low 
'Mong trees that waved three hundred years ago. 
The streamlet seeks the path it knew of yore, 
And Erie murmurs to a lonely shore; 
The birds are busy in their leafy towers; 
The trampled earth is wild again with flowers; 
And the same River rolls in changeless state, 
Eternal, solemn, deep and strong as fate. 

It is the time when still the forest made 

For its dusk children a protecting shade; 

And by these else untrodden shores they stood, 

Embodied spirits of the solitude! 

When still at dawn, or day's serener close, 

The smoke-wreaths of the Kah-Kwah lodges rose. 

No hoary legend of their past declares 

Through what uncounted years our home was theirs- 

How oft they hailed, new-glittering in the West, 

The moon a phantom-white canoe, at rest 

In deeps of purple twilight — this alone 

Of all their vanished story has not flown: 

That, through unnumbered summers' long increase. 

The Neutral Nation was the home of peace. 

Far to the north the Huron war-whoop rang. 

And eastward, on the stealth}' war-path, sprang 

The wary Iroquois; but like the isle 


That, locked in wild Niagara's fierce embrace, 
Still wears the smile of summer on its face — 
(Love in the clasp of Madness) — so the while 
With peace the Kah-Kwah villages were filled. 
And, as the Lake's dark heart of storm is stilled, 
The fury of its surge constrained to calm 
Beneath the touch of winter's marble palm, 
So, when the braves of warring nations met, 
They changed the hatchet for the calumet, 
• And hid with stolid face their mounting ire 
From the bright glimmer of the Kah-Kwah fire. 

Year followed year, and peaceful Time had cast 

A misty autumn sunshine o'er the past, 

And, to the hearts that calmly summered there, 

The forehead of the future shone as fair; 

Save that perchance some wise and wakeful ear 

In the great River's ceaseless song could hear, 

Through the mirk midnight, when the wind was still 

The murmured presage of approaching ill. 

It came at last — the nation's evil day, 

Whose rayless night should never pass away. 

A calm foreran the tempest, and, a space, 

Fate wore the mask of joy upon his face. 

It was a day of revel, feast and game, 

When from the far-off Iroquois there came 

A hundred plumed and painted warriors, sent 

To meet the Kah-Kwah youth in tournament. 

And legend tells how sped the mimic fight; 

And how the festal tire blazed high at night, 

And laugh and shout through all the greenwood ran; 

Till, at the last, a deadly quarrel sprang, 

Whose shadow, as the frowning guests withdrew. 

Deepened, and to a boding war-cloud grew. 


And not for long the sudden storm was stayed; 

It burst in battle, and in many a glade, 

Were leaves of green with fearful crimson crost, 

As if by finger of untimely frost. 

Fighting they held the stubborn pathway back, 

The foe relentless on their homeward track; 

Till the thinned remnant of the Kah-Kwah braves 

Chose, where their homes had been, to make their graves, 

And rallied for the last and hopeless fight, 

With the blue ripples of the lake in sight. 

Could wand of magic bring that scene again 

Back, with its terrors, to the battle-plain, 

Into these silent streets the wind would bear 

Its mingled cry of triumph and despair; 

And all the nameless horror of the strife, 

That only ended with a nation's life, 

Would pass before our startled eyes, and seem 

The feverish fancy of an evil dream. 

For in the tumult of that fearful rout 

The watch-light of the Kah-Kwah camp went out. 

And, thenceforth, in the pleasant linden shade, 

Seneca children, only, laughed and played. 

And still the River rolled in changeless state, 

Eternal, solemn, deep and strong as fate. 

A few strange words of a forgotten tongue 

That still by Lake and River's marge have clung. 

Are all that linger, of the Past, to tell, 

With their weird-sounding music, how it fell 

That here the people of that elder day 

Sinned, suffered, loved, hoped, hated, passed away. 

So History's dream is told, and, fading, fleet 
The shadows of the forest from the street; 


But is it much to ask, if it were sought, 

That it return at times to tinge our thought? — 

To tell us, when the winter-fires are lit, 

And in the happy heart of home we sit, 

That other fires were here, ere ours had shone, 

And sank to ashes years and years agone; — 

That where we stand, and, watching, see the West 

Ebb, till the stars lie stranded on its breast, 

Or homeward ships, more blest than they of Greece, 

Returning with the prairie's Golden Fleece, 

To other eyes long since perchance was given, 

Through the same sapphire arch, a glimpse of heaven. 

And haply not in vain the thought shall rise 

To sadden, it may be, our reveries, 

That here have throbbed, with all the bliss of ours, 

Hearts that have mouldered upward into flowers! 




The formation of a burial place' is generally one of the later 
things attended to in a new settlement, inasmuch as the utmost 
effort is needed to support the living and carry on the neces- 
sary improvements; and unless there should be death from 
accidental causes, there are no particular reasons to induce the 
pioneers to bear in mind the fact that any of them will be cut 
off from their labors, and become the silent tenants of the tomb : 

Like other settlements in Western New York, Buffalo was 
lax in attending to the necessity of providing a resting place 
for the dead; and churches were organized and school houses 
erected ere it seemed to be noticed that death was as likely to 
invade here as elsewhere. But, as was even then so certain 
to be the case, the time for this duly arrived. 


Captain William Johnston, a British officer, retired on half- 
pay, once owned a tract of about forty acres of land in what is 
now the business center of Buffalo. It was bounded on the 
north by Seneca street; west by Washington street; south by 
Little Buffalo creek, and east by a line which would include 
the forty acres; the said line running parallel with Washington 
>treet. Asthis place, even then, was the centerof business at- 


traction, residents meeting there for conversation, very naturally 
the settlement increased about Johnston's; and finally he laid 
out a small burial ground a few rods square on his homestead, 
at the corner of Crow (now Exchange) and Washington streets. 

• The place was afterwards owned by the late General Lucius 
Storrs, and since known as the "Sheldon place;" and when the 
Washington block was built in 1 87 3-4, several skeletons were 
dug up by the laborers excavating for cellars. 'The street is 
now a number of feet below the original surface of the soil; 
and the removal of the earth for cellars rendered it necessary 
to excavate below the bottom of the deepest graves. 

As these skeletons were found on the cast side of the Shel- 
don lot, there is every reason to believe (and tradition deepens 
the impression) that more, are interred on the next lot east, 
which is now occupied by the paint shop of J. Josephs. 

• The house was built by Mr. Joseph 1). Hoyt, and afterwards 
passed into the hands of Mr. Waters, formerly of the firm of 
Kimberly & Waters, ship chandlers, &c. But there has been 
an ever-changing tide of occupants in the house. People of 
every color and nationality have lived there; and some of such 
bad repute that it would not be surprising in the least if the 
original tenants of this ossuary had had their numbers Increased 
by the sudden taking off of unsuspecting persons decoyed there 
for purposes of plunder and murder. When the building is 
removed, and the lot excavated for larger cellars, it will not be 
unexpected if a dozen or more skeletons of different sizes are 
found on the north end of that and the adjacent lot, now occu- 
pied by the old cabinet shop of Oliver Pomeroy, which was 
erected in 1832. 

It is understood that Captain Johnston was buried in his own 
cemetery in 1807. The fust tenant was an infant son o( the 
Captain; and burials did not cease there till several years after 
the establishment of a village burial' place o\\ lots 10S, 109, m, 
112, since called Franklin Square, where now stands the mas- 
sive City and County Hall. 



The change to this burial place was made at a very early 
day. In fact, Captain Pratt went, the first year of his arrival 
here (1804), with Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, to Batavia, and obtained 
by "land contract" from the Holland Land Company, the 
Franklin Square lot for a village burying ground. The rea- 
sons for this change were, first: the title to the Johnston place 
was yet in the dower, and if it was not deeded to the vil- 
lage, there might be trouble in after years from a change of 
'owners. This proved to be the case; for John (or Jack) John- 
ston (son of the old Captain), who inherited the property, en- 
cumbered it by a mortgage to Jasper Parrish as agent and 
trustee of the Cayuga Nation; and this mortgage not being 
paid, was duly foreclosed, and the place sold in 181 1. And 
second: this site was deemed to be too near the center of a 
population numbering but a few score. 

This Franklin Square lot was a central portion of the then 
beautiful Terrace, on whose grassy surface the Indians used 
to recline, and view the lake in all its pristine beauty; a scene 
which Judge Peacock described when he first came on the 
spot (being then nineteen years of age), saying, "It is one of 
the most beautiful views I ever put my eyes upon." 

In the new cemetery the first interment was that of Joint 
Cochrane, a traveler from Connecticut, who died at Parker's 
tavern, a log house facing south, standing on the Terrace near 
the corner and west of Main street. As a verbal consent had 
been given by Mr. Ellicott' to use the lots, which hlnst have 
been considerably prior to 1804, the man from "the land ot 
steady habits" was there buried; and from that time most, if 
not all, burials ceased in the Washington street place, except 
those of Johnston's family or relatives thereof. Tradition says 
that a verv tall Indian, from his altitudeMcrmcd "The Infant." 
was the second silent inhabitant of the village cemetery. Here 
in March, 1815, the noble and estimable Indian chief, Farmer's 
Brother, was buried with military honors. When the bodies 


Avere removed to Forest Lawn, a tablet, with his initials formed 
by brass nails, was found; but like Job Hoysington's skull 
(p. 53) it disappeared in the process of removal. 

Though this lot so early became the recognized place for 
burials, with the usual carelessness' of early settlers, the title to 
it was not obtained from the Holland Land Company until 1821. 
This can easily be accounted for, as there was no village cor- 
poration to hold the gift; and after it had been in use some 
years, it was believed that the village had a right by possession. 
There was no individual ownership of the lots; but persons, on 
application, had family or single lots assigned them by the 
trustees, until 1832, when burials as a general thing were dis- 
continued there. The last was in 1836, being that- of the wife 
of Hon. Samuel Wilkeson,'a daughter of Gamaliel St. John; 
and a special permit was granted for this purpose. 

The old burying ground was remote from the village proper, 
and was covered with a growth of bushes and scrub oak, with 
a few larger trees. A part of it was used at one time as a site 
for a small wooden building, in which was kept an infant school. 

In addition to the villagers, those who resided even as far 
out as the Plains (with the exception of a few families who 
buried on their own premises) brought their dead to the gen- 
eral gathering place. This irregular proceeding was stopped, 
as far as the city authority extended, in 1832, when the advent 
of the cholera caused very stringent sanitary measures to be 


Long prior to that time, on the hill opposite "Cold Spring," 
on farm lot Xo. 59, now the southwest corner of Delaware 
and Ferry streets, there was a grave-yard like that of Captain 
Johnston. I well remember being present at burials there 
when a boy. (hie was that of a child of Mr. Seth Granger, 
who lived on the farm; another a child o\ a Mr. Caskey. 
These took place before the war of 1S12. Hither, afterwards, 
gallant lob Hovsington's mutilated remains were brought, w Inn 


the fervid suns of the spring after the burning of Buffalo melted 
the snowy shroud by which he was first covered. 

The death of Hoysington occurred as follows: On the morn- 
ing of December 30th, 181 3, he took his rifle and went to meet 
the British as they came marching up the river near the Grand 
Battery. He, with Captain Hull's Buffalonians, stood their 
ground well; but the three thousand and odd of new levies fled 
precipitately and left a few hundred to face as many Indians, 
and over a thousand disciplined British regulars. For a brief 
period they contested the field: but, seeing they were flanked, 
they retreated. Hoysington lingered, withdrew a little, stopped, 
and said, "I will have one more shot at them;" and that was 
the last that was known of him till the following spring, when 
his remains were found beside a log not far from the late Fred- 
erick Gridley's residence on North street, one or two blocks 
west of the Normal school building. A bullet had perforated, 
and a tomahawk had cleft, his skull; while his seal}) was torn 
from his bleeding head as a trophy of savage conquest, and 
token of British inhumanity. His faithful rifle lay empty by 
his side, and no doubt his death was avenged ere it occurred. 
His remains were interred in this rural cemetery, and there 
they remained till 1850, when most of the bones of the nearly 
one hundred persons buried there, were exhumed, placed in 
boxes, and removed to a secluded place in " Forest Lawn." 
Among these relics, the skull of the mighty marksman was at 
once recognized by the injuries it had received, and many 
noticed it; but during the confusion incident to a removal, 
some one surreptitiously carried off this relic of Job Hoysing- 
ton. It is doubtless in the possession of some curiosity monger 
of the city, but, "Who has it?" has often been asked in vain. 

This ground was never formally granted for a cemetery, but 
by the consent of the owner was used for that purpose by the 
few families residing in the neighborhood. 

In the grading and widening of Ferry street, in 1S76, at the 
corner we are speaking of, there were some bones, but no en- 


tire skeletons, plowed up. Having learned that there was no 
one appointed by the proper authorities of our city to look 
after these relics of early settlers and soldiers, who seem to 
have had none on the face of the earth to care for them. I took 
pains to collect, from time to time, all that were found, carried 
them to Forest Lawn, and had them buried with the others 
that had been taken there. 


About the year 1830, Hon. Lewis F. Allen bought of Judge 
Ebenezer Walden, on his own account, five acres, situated on 
the south-west corner of Delaware and North streets, and east 
of Bowery street.* He then formed an association, consisting 
of the following persons, viz.: Lewis F. Allen, George F>. Web- 
ster, Russell H. Hey wood, Heman B. Potter and Hiram Pratt, 
as trustees, and had it surveyed into lots by Joseph Clary, Esq. 
A considerable number of lots were sold; but the smallness of 
the plot, and the fact that the southern part was full of springs, 
prevented many improvements; and most of the bodies depos- 
ited there have been removed to Forest Lawn, and the property 
is now held by the Forest Lawn Association. It is not at all 
likely that any more burials will ever take place there, as they 
are prohibited by a law of the State, and the lots around are 
occupied by beautiful residences. 


In 1832, in anticipation of the cholera visiting Buffalo, which 
had just put on "city airs," burials in the old village (Franklin 
Square) cemetery, having been prohibited, except by special 
permission of the Council, it was deemed desirable to obtain 
another and more remote situation to be ready in case any 
sudden pestilence should demand increased room for the dead. 
Accordingly, I sold to the city five acres of farm lot No. 30, 
lying between North and Best streets, a and west of Prospect 
street, for a "Potter's Field," or common burial place; and a 

♦Now Irving Place. 


portion of it was set apart for the Roman Catholics, so that it 
could be consecrated according to their belief and form. 


When the lands comprising the south village of Black Rock 
were surveyed in 1804 or 1805, there were two blocks, Nos. 41 
and 42, appropriated by the State for burial purposes. These, 
however, were found to be too low, and hence not suita- 
ble; many, therefore, carried their dead even to the Franklin 
Square ground; and when Black Rock village was incorpo- 
rated, Col. William A. Bird, in behalf of the corporation, pro- 
cured the exchange of those two lots for one situated on higher 
ground; being lot No. 88 on North street, since known as the 
Black Rock burying ground. This lot was bounded by Jersey, 
Pennsylvania and Fourteenth streets, and the Mile Strip, or 
what is now "The Avenue." 

When the "Guide Board Road" (now North street) was 
worked through, this lot was cut in twain, and a small triangle 
was left on the south side, in the old limits of Buffalo City. 
This small lot, by an arrangement with the Black Rock author- 
ities, was used as a Potter's Field for the unfortunates who died 
at the poor-house; this building being a little to the west of it, 
next to the church of the Holy Angels, and now used for the 
parish school. In this little spot of ground have been, doubt- 
less, laid, without a pitying eye to weep over their wreck, or a 
friendly hand to raise a tablet to their memory, as noble per- 
sons as have ever existed; but poverty and misfortune blighted 
their prospects, and they became dependents on the bounty of 
their fellow-creatures. 

Many a time have I pondered over the unmarked hillocks 
here, and thought what tales could be revealed were the history 
•of the unknown and unnoted dead under my feet made up into 
a living record. But they were not permitted to rest in peace. 
The City of Buffalo, a few years since," fenced in the lot, and 
desecrated the spot by using it as a public pound. Could no 
■other vacant place be found, that even a pauper might not be 


allowed to rest here, without having his last hold on earth made 
the stamping-place for vagrant cattle ? 

The main lot was used for years by the inhabitants of Black 
Rock; but burials having been discontinued for some time, the 
land was conveyed to that noble institution, the Charity Foun- 
dation of the Episcopal Church. As in the Franklin Square 
and North street public cemeteries there were no private lots 
here, but places were assigned by the authorities. 

When the Forest Lawn cemetery was established, in 1S50. 
many families bought lots and removed their dead from this 
ground. Since then, in grading Rogers street, many graves 
were dug up, and the bones collected and removed to Forest 
Lawn. And within the last few years, in grading "The Circle," 
which takes in most of this old burying ground, many more 
have been dug out and deposited there. More still remain. 
which should be properly taken care of. Although I ever dis- 
approve of the practice of our city rulers in disturbing and re- 
moving the bones from our old burying grounds, yet, in this 
case, it seems to be a matter of public necessity; and as part 
have been removed, they may as well all be. 

One grave in this spot was that of Capt. James Rough, a man 
of some note in early days, but now nearly forgotten, who was 
buried here in 1828. This noble-hearted man was one of the 
captains who early sailed on our lakes. I believe he had no 
relatives in this country, but many true-hearted friends, who. 
after his checkered life was ended, buried his body with becom- 
ing honor and respect. One, a countryman of his, a Scotch- 
man, the eccentric Major Donald Frazer, to express the esteem 
in which he was held by all, placed a stone at the head of his 
grave, on which was cut the inscription and quaint epitaph 
printed below. 

Capt. Rough's remains were removed by our honored tow Io- 
nian, John T. Lacy, April 26th, [869, t* the lot in Forest I 
where those from the old burying ground oi Franklin Sq 
were placed. They now lie near the large monument in 



center of this lot, by the side of Capt. Dox, an officer in the 
United States army during the war of 181 2, and who was some 
years after (in 1822, 1 believe) appointed Collector of the Port 
of Buffalo. 


Here lies the body of 


A Son of Auld Scotia, who died 

Dec. 4th, 1828, aged 60. 

A Highland man's son placed this stone in 

Remembrance of his Friend. 

Here, moored beneath this willow tree, 
Lies Honor, Worth, and Integrity, 
More I might add, but 'tis enough; 
'T was centered all in Honest Rough. 

With such as he where'er he be, 
May I be saved or damned.* 

The exact time when burials began in this Black Rock bury- 
ing ground, on North street, is not now certainly known. There 
were two families, at least, at Black Rock, who buried on their 
own premises; those of Gen. Peter B. Porter and Ethan Lud- 
low. The bodies of Gen. Porter's family were subsequently 
removed to Niagara Falls. The bodies of the family of Mr. 
Ludlow were removed to the " Mathews and Wilcox" burying 
ground on the hill (see below, page 58), and subsequently to 
Forest Lawn. By some it is thought that burials began there 
soon after the war of 181 2-15; others as late as 1826. But 
from what I can learn, the most reasonable conclusion is, that 
there were some burials there as early as 1820, or soon after. 
Col. William A. Bird says, "probably as early as 1825 at least." 
Cyrus H. De Forest says, "I helped to bury a friend there in 
1827, and there were quite a large number of graves there be- 
fore that time." 


There was a place on what was known as the " Bidwell 
Farm," where the dead were buried before the "Guide Board 

•The last two lines of this are from Hums' epitaph on Gavin Hamilton. 


Road" (or North street) ground above mentioned was opened. 
It will be of interest to say, just here, that the ''Guide Board 
Road," spoken of above and on page 55, was, in the early days, 
the only wagon approach to Black Rock from the eastward; 
communication with Buffalo being mostly by the way of the 
beach of the lake, until Niagara street was opened, about the 
year 1809; a guide-post stood for many years at the southwest 
corner of Main street and this road, pointing the traveler's way 
to the aspiring village of Black Rock; hence the name of the 
road. The Bidwell farm was situated on the old " Gulf Road," 
answering to what is now Delevan avenue. This road crossed 
Main street just south of the bridge over Gonjockety creek, 
and passing east, in a few rods crossed the creek bed, while, 
westward, it crossed a deep ravine or gulf, formed by a stream 
flowing from the "Jubilee Spring;" and from this circumstance 
obtained its name. The farm lay quite a distance west of Main 
street, back of the village of Black Rock; and in the burial 
place here set apart, interments were made from 181 1 to 1825. 


Another private cemetery enterprise was set on foot by Gen- 
eral Sylvester Mathews and Birdseye Wilcox, about 1833 or 
1834. They laid out twelve acres for the purpose, on farm lot 
No. 30, next to the five acres which the city had purchased in 
1832 for the Potter's Field. This twelve acre field was im- 
proved, and lots sold to different individuals; and as the land 
was more desirable than that on the corner of Delaware and 
North streets, there was considerable attention paid to decora- 
tions and monuments, until Forest Lawn was formally estab- 
lished; and then for a time but little interest appeared to be 
taken in this. I am happy, how ever, to state that a better feel- 
ing now prevails; that the grounds are carefully tended, and do 
not look so deserted and comfortless as they did a score oi 
years ago. 

The Hodge family purchased two lots in this place, and paid 
for them by furnishing and planting yellow locust trees along 


the outer edge of the whole, and on each side of the walks and 
carriage ways. Before that, this burying ground having been 
originally used for agricultural purposes, was of a barren 
appearance, being entirely destitute of trees and shrubbery. 
Those locust trees were therefore at that time thought to be a 
very desirable acquisition, as they grew quickly. They yet re- 
main as specimens of the taste of a former generation; yet we 
cannot but think what a magnificent grove the place would now 
have been, if graceful elms had been chosen for planting. 

In 1853, the lot owners, finding that Mathews and Wilcox 
neglected to care for the property, opened negotiations for the 
purchase of the remaining rights, which was duly effected by 
the lot owners cgising a subscription therefor; and in 1854, an 
association was incorporated under the name of the "Buffalo 
Cemetery Association." The new company paid the old pro- 
prietors the sum of $5,000 for all their interest therein, and 
since that a steady improvement, as has been mentioned, has 
been noticeable. 


Forest Lawn Cemetery is unquestionably the finest in this 
section of the state, and under the new organization will doubt- 
less always be a permanent one. It was first laid out under the 
name above given, by Charles E. Clarke, Esq., in 1849, who 
purchased, for the purpose, of Rev. James X. Granger and his 
brother Warren Granger, about eighty acres of land at $150 l )er 
acre. The grounds were planned by Mr. Clarke on a most lib- 
eral scale, and with all modern improvements. 

But it having been deemed desirable that the citizens should 
more generally be interested in it, and that its many interests 
and rights should not be committed to the care of one individ- 
ual, no matter how trustworthy, an organization was effected in 
1855, as a private corporation, under the title of the "Forest 
Lawn Cemetery Association of the City 'of Uuffalo." receiving 
from Mr. Clarke the possession and management of his grounds. 

This company conducted the enterprise in a most creditable 


and faithful manner. Numerous elegant monuments were 
erected, and valuable improvements made by individual owners 
of lots. Yet there grew up a desire for a cemetery more broadly 
planned, and more positively interesting and attractive; withal, 
a feeling that not even a private corporation could suitably 
hold and manage such a cemetery as was required for the pro- 
spective growth of a city like Buffalo. Accordingly on the 
nineteenth of November, 1864, a new organization was formed 
under the title of the ''Buffalo City Cemetery Association," 
which was declared legally complete November 21st, and at 
once entered upon its great work. From " Forest Lawn Asso- 
ciation" all their unsold lots were purchased, with the fran- 
chise; and then and subsequently, several adjoining tracts of 
different quantities, which enlarged the grounds to its present 
size, about two hundred and thirty acres, being all that will be 
required for generations. The beautiful name " Forest Lawn " 
is therefore now not its legal, but its popular designation — 
which, however, it will doubtless retain for all time to come. 

It is right that attention should here be called to the fact 
that this is a "mutual company without stockholders," in which 
all of the lot owners are equally interested; in which the trus- 
tees receive no compensation or money benefit for their ser- 
vices, the only salaried officers being the secretary and super- 
intendent. It should also be expressly stated that by the laws 
under which its managers act, they are absolutely forbidden to 
apply any proceeds of sales of lots (after original land debts 
were paid, and the expenses met of surveying and laying out 
the grounds) to any other purpose than the improvement, em- 
bellishment and preservation of the cemetery, for the benefit 
of the lot owners. 

The original land debt was $131,650. This was completely 
paid, together with §51,630 and accrued interest for subsequent 
purchases from Dr. Lord and Dr. Ransom, in several years 
less time than was anticipated by the most hopeful. The en- 
tire property is therefore now, ami lias been for years, linen- 


cumbered. ►Thus the lot owners, small and large alike, have 
an inalienable title, and a surety that their lots will be for all 
lime kept and cared for by the Association, except the few un- 
commuted lots in the old park. These last, however, must even- 
tually yield to the pressure of necessity, and come under the 
general management so as to have uniform care with the rest. 

A few figures will here be interesting and suggestive as to the 
magnitude and importance of this enterprise. The original 
cost of its real estate was about $185,000; expenditures to the 
present time over $389,000; receipts in all ways over $373,000; 
all of this being a permanent investment. Assets amount to 
an additional $r 2,000, being money in the treasury, horses, 
wagons, tools, implements, c\~c, <Scc. The lot-owners are up- 
wards of two thousand five hundred in number, aside from sev- 
eral thousand single graves. The individual proprietors of lots 
have erected monuments, tombs and mausolea, to the value of 
more than $1,000,000; so that nearly or quite $2,000,000 have 
been already invested in Forest Lawn. Its funds are now, and 
for all time will and must be, devoted, without the direction of 
a dollar to private benefit of trustees or stockholders, of which 
latter absorbent class there are none, to the increase and care 
of the grounds for the sole benefit of the lot owners interested 
in the cemetery. 

As is well known, this cemetery is located on the Conjockety 
creek about two and a half miles from the Court-house Square, 
or the center of the business part of the city, and between Del- 
aware and Main streets; each of which gives a noble approach. 
The grounds are divided about equally into forest and lawn, 
table and broken land, and a succession of knolls running par- 
allel with the creek from southeast to northwest; giving a vari- 
ety of approach that is not often found in similar places. It is 
truly by nature a lovely spot, and is exceedingly beautiful since 
laid out and occupied; and the extensive-as well as costly im- 
provements that have been and will be made in its vicinity, 
have rendered its surroundings correspondingly beautiful. The 


great park adjoins it, and next are the extensive grounds of the 
Insane Asylum; so that a large portion of the territory drained 
by the Conjockety, from Main street to near the state dam 
across the creek, is, and always will be, public ground. 

The first interment in Forest Lawn was that of John Lay, Jr., 
who died on the tenth day of July, 1850, aged sixty years. He 
was a most worthy citizen, who had been at one time distin- 
guished for his great mercantile ability; but he went down in 
the crash of fortunes of 1836, and ever after lived a retired life. 
Early in the inception of the improvements at Forest Lawn, he 
visited the place, and pointed out a certain knoll where he 
wished to be interred when he should die; when that event oc- 
curred, the liberal-hearted proprietor donated that spot to the 
family. And so it came about that late one summer afternoon, 
July 1 2th, 1850, the quiet of the place was broken by the entrance 
of the first funereal train; and at the going clown of the sun, as 
the earth closed over the mortal remains of John Lay, Jr., began 
the peopling of this new Necropolis of the Queen City of 
the Lakes. On that occasion were heard for the first time in 
this cemetery, the words of the lofty and impressive buria! ser- 
vice of the Episcopal Church, as Mr. Lay was consigned to his 
final resting place, under the direction of him who had per- 
formed this office for two generations of his fellow citizens*; I 
mean the late Mr. Loring Pierce, so many years our "city sex- 
ton." Since then, how rapidly has been fulfilled the saying ot 
the venerable and beloved rector of St. Paul's Cathedral, who 
officiated at that time, and, as he surveyed the place, bethinking 
him of its intended purpose, exclaimed. "What a food of grief 
will here be poured out;" for a continual tide of departed cit- 
izens has set thitherward. It is worthy of remark that those 
who fir>t deemed it too remote and unfavorable a location, are 
now foremost in beautifying it, and making it a place oi at- 
traction, rather than of dread. It is Afa- cemetery of Buffalo; 
and is especially so for all those who are not attached to the 
Romish or fewish faith. To this beautiful spot, the bodies of 


those interred in the village burying ground on Franklin street, 
were removed; many by the hands of loving kindred were laid 
beside others of their families; while those who were unrecog- 
nized, and had none to care for them, were interred in a place 
apart, and a suitable monument erected over them. 

Some families have removed their dead from the Mathews 
and Wilcox and the Delaware and North street grounds, to 
Forest Lawn; also some who buried on their own lands between 
the city and the Plains. Of those who interred originally on 
their own premises, and have had the bodies removed, I men- 
tion Col. William W. Chapin, Judge Erastus Granger, John Col- 
lins, William Hodge, Benjamin Hodge, Sr., Benjamin Hodge, 
Jr., and Mrs. Ward Cotton. Neither the Sherwoods. nor Mrs. 
Rudolph Atkins' family have removed their dead; those of the 
latter rest at the "Old Homestead" on the Plains; of the for- 
mer in a private burial ground on the Sherwood farm opposite, 
from which all the bodies but those of the Sherwood family 
have been removed. 

Forest Lawn contains a number of public remembrancers of 
the dead, as well as many private monuments and mausoleums. 
Among the former is a plain obelisk, erected in the center of a 
large square of ground containing those of the early dead who 
were removed from Franklin Square. On it is a suitable in- 
scription to their memory. A beautiful shaft has also been 
erected to commemorate our firemen, in the new part of the 
ground near the head of Linwood avenue, in the old part 
there is a monument for Colonel Fay, an officer prominent in 
military affairs some thirty years ago; and another to General 
Pidwell, an officer killed during the civil war. Not far from 
them there is a memorial erected by our patriotic townsman 
Hon. Elbridge G. Spaulding, commemorating heroes of the 
Revolutionary war. These various structures are rich in mate- 
rial, and fine specimens of the elaborate work^of the architect 
and sculptor. 


On the high ground of the G ranger farm between Forest 
Lawn proper, and the old homestead of that farm, there was 
formerly a circular mound that contained many human bones. 
Here, when a boy, sixty years ago, I used to pick up bits of 
bones. There were then no entire ones, but a large quantity 
of small pieces that had been plowed OYer again and again. 
When buried, they must have had but a slight covering of earth. 
Among the pieces were found some entire sound teeth. Tra- 
dition said at that time that a battle had been fought near the 
spot, by a race of people inhabiting this country, very mam- 
years since, and long before the Senecas possessed it; as they 
have no knowledge of that race of people, and know nothing 
of how those bones came there. 

soldiers' burial places. 

It is in the memory of some yet living that the American 
bank of Niagara river at Black Rock and the banks of Conjockety 
creek adjacent, were the grounds of several hard contested 
battles in which many were killed and afterwards buried on the 
battle-field. Many also were buried here who died of sickness 
in the barracks of our Grand Battery and in the barracks on 
the bank of Conjockety creek. There is no doubt that hun- 
dreds of unknown soldiers are buried here, and as these grounds 
have been plowed over again and again, it is impossible to detect 
their individual resting places until excavations are made. 
There ought certainly to be some provision for reinterring them 
when found. The remains of many are also scattered along the 
line of Main street from Flint Hill to the Terrace. All these 
grounds are thickly strewn with the relics of a former war. 
Bones of soldiers have been exhumed within the last few years 
at the junction of Lafayette and Washington streets. They 
have been found also on the Terrace^ near St. Joseph's Col- 
lege, on the hank of the river at Black Rock, ami in various 
places on Main street, and have been thrown about as play- 


things for " Peterkin and Wilhelmine " as mentioned by Southey 
in his poem, " The Battle of Blenheim." Time and the march of 
improvement alone can bring to light the bones of the majority 
of our dead soldiers, as the government was not so careful of 
them formerly as now. 

It would, of course, be impossible for me to identify all the 
places in this region where our nation's dead have been buried. 
I may, however, point out some of the more prominent ones. 

The Terrace. — During the war of 181 2, or as it was for a long 
time generally styled, the " Last War," there were many sol- 
diers, and doubtless some military attaches of the army, buried 
in and about the Terrace. There was a battery erected on the 
Terrace to defend the water approach by the channel of the 
creek, near the opening about the foot of Genesee street. ,By 
this approach, the wounded in the various contests of 18 14 were 
brought to the hospital on the Terrace, and the dead of the 
hospital were buried near it. 

I well remember, that when Church and Delaware streets 
were graded, many skeletons were dug up during the progress 
of the work; and one was in a coffin, and had military trap- 
pings on, that indicated the wearer to have been a lieutenant in 
the army. 

Sandy Town. — In 1814, when our army held Fort Erie, the 
ferrying place across the river was near Sandy Town, which 
was quite a noted spot. A number of wooden houses had 
been built in rear of the beach, behind the immense sand hills 
that existed in the early part of the century. Some of them 
were used as hospitals for the sick and wounded as they were 
brought from Canada; and the dead were buried in the sand 
banks adjacent. Many bodies were washed out into the lake 
in after years. I have often seen them lying there exposed to 
the gaze of the passer by, and human bones were even tossed 
carelessly about' with laugh and jest by tliose engaged in carting 
sand to Buffalo. 

for the school bovs 


to go there on a Saturday afternoon and dig for relics, — but- 
tons, bullets, &c; and often they exhumed the bones perhaps 
of those to whom these belonged; and frequently portions of 
muskets, grape-shot, and other war-like materials were dug up. 
But the great storm of October, 1844, washed away the sand 
hills and then were plainly to be seen the traces of the line of 
huts, the foundations of the chimneys, officers' quarters, <Scc. 
All now is changed, and we doubt if a single relic of the war 
could be found there. 

Conjockt'ty Creek. — While our Kentucky Riflemen were sta- 
tioned on the south bank of Conjockety creek, in 181 4, there 
were many graves made near by for those who sickened and 
died, and also for those who were killed in the battle that took 
place there in that year; the firing of guns in which battle, I 
distinctly remember hearing. There were some killed both of 
the British and our own men, and their bodies were buried 
there. Those soldier graves have all since been leveled. Xo 
mark is left to designate them. 

Black Rock. — Many graves were on or near the premises of 
Col. William A. Bird, Sr. In the battle of July nth, 1813, at 
Black. Rock, in which Col. Bishop was killed, and Capt. Saun- 
ders was wounded and taken prisoner by our men, there were 
eight British and three American soldiers killed; and they were 
buried on the brow of the river bank, back of Col. Bird's house. 
From his residence south as far as Albany street, there were 
at the close of the war manv grave-mounds, which since that 
time have all been leveled; In fact, I am informed by those 
who were there at the close of the war, that there were very few 
vacant lots in Black Rock, between Conjockety creek and 
what is n<«w Fort 1'orter, that did not contain some soldiers' 

The Grave in the "Park Meadow" — Gen. Smyth's Regulars 
were encamped in the fall and winter of i8l2,on " Flint Hill." 
This hill, already mentioned (page 64). is a rise of ground over 
which Main street passes, from the crossing o\ the Parkway 


north to Chapin street. Its name was derived from the fact 
that the rock here and in the region round about comes very- 
near to the surface, and even frequently crops out above it. 
Including and beyond it north-eastward were the Buffalo Plains 
mentioned herein (page 52 and elsewhere.) The troops of Gen- 
eral Smyth remained at Flint Hill until the following spring. 
During this time, there prevailed among them a typhoid epi 
demic. Deprived as they were of comfortable hospitals, and a 
sufficient supply of medical agents, it carried off about three 
hundred of them. They were put into plain pine board coffins, 
furnished by William Hodge, Sr., and temporarily buried near 
the south line of the Chapin place; but the rock came so near 
to the surface that their graves could not be more than about 
afoot in depth. The ensuing spring they were removed some 
distance, to the north side of the farm, where the ground was 
a sandy loam and easily dug. Leave to bury them there being 
given by the respective owners of the farms, Capt. Rowland 
Cotton and Doctor Daniel Chapin, they were deposited directly 
on the dividing line between these farms, in one common grave. 
Doctor Chapin planted two yellow willows, one at each end of 
the grave, which have become large trees, and are yet growing; 
the grave itself remaining undisturbed to this day. 

The Government ought to erect a handsome monument to 
their memory; and while this would commemorate these un- 
known soldiers, who gave up their lives in a more horrible 
manner than on the ensanguined battle-field, it would ornament 
the park, in which enclosure they are; the grave being about 
eighty rods north-northwest from the park stone-quarry, not 
far from the middle of the Park Meadow. 

Dr. Chapin's place was owned and occupied by the Chapin 
family, from a very early day until not many years since, when 
it was sold to the present owner, Klam R. Jewett, Esq. The 
people of this. city are much indebted to th# Doctor, who was 
one of the pioneers of Buffalo, for the good taste and judgment 
exercised in clearing up his farm. Coming on to it in 1806, 


and ever having an eye to the beauty of native scenery and 
landscape, he left and always preserved with care, groups and 
scattered trees of various sizes and kinds, where it would add 
to its beauty; and we in our park enjoy the benefit of his sen- 
timent and forbearance. He was imbued with the idea of the 
poet who says, "Woodman, spare that tree;" and when he 
could, he always had trees left untouched by the ruthless axe, 
in order that man and beast should benefit by their shade, and 
they with their primitive grace- ornament his beautiful farm. 
His son, the late Col. William W. Chapin, always protected and 
preserved those trees with truly reverential and pious care, in 
memory of and respect for his honored father, who left the in- 
heritance of the whole farm to him on his decease. Without 
that inherited taste, he, like most of the early settlers, would 
have denuded the land of every tree; and that portion of our 
park would have been a barren expanse of mere farming land; 
for a large portion of this old farm now constitutes the most 
interesting part of our beautiful park. As one rides through 
it, especially that portion I speak of, he cannot help noticing 
those groups of trees and scattered monarchs of the forest 
within and on the borders of the extensive Park Meadow; 
beautiful reminders of those thoughtful and tasteful former 

In this connection it would not be right to omit a notice of 
the soldiers' burial place at 

Williainsville. — About six thousand of our army raised dur- 
ing the first year of the war of 1 812-15, and sent on to protect 
our frontier at Buffalo, went into winter quarters at Willi am s- 
ville village, eleven miles north of Buffalo. Their encampment 
at that place was just north of the main road, and contiguous 
to the village, on the extensive premises then owned by the 
enterprising milling and mercharjt firm of Juba Storrs & Co. 
This ground continued to be occupieefby our soldiers more or 
less during the war. Sickness, as is usual in camp, prevailed 
amonu them; and some two or three hundred died and were 


buried on the grounds adjacent. Since then the village has 
spread, covering the ground where they were buried, and long 
since not a vestige of a grave was left to be seen. There has 
been no one to look after or care for their bones when exhumed, 
as they often were, in excavating cellars or making improve- 
ments such as are necessary in a growing village. 

There were quite extensive barracks built on the bank of the 
Eleven Mile creek, a very healthy, eligible place; it being re- 
tired from the immediate scenes of conflict, and about one mile 
above the village. It continued to be our general hospital for 
sick and wounded soldiers during this war. 

During the three years of the conflict, many of our soldiers 
died, and were buried at the side of a field near by. The 
ground that contains their remains comprises about half an 
acre, lying on the southwesterly side of a public road; the 
Eleven Mile creek running parallel and adjoining. 

Two of our townsmen, Col. John Bliss and John B. Evans, 
feeling an interest that this ground should never be disturbed 
or encroached upon, procured the title by a warranty deed from 
the owners, John Haskel and wife, to themselves, dated August 
6th, 185 1, and duly recorded. They have both since deceased, 
leaving the title in their heirs. The number of our own sol- 
diers buried -on this ground is supposed to be three hundred or 
more; and in one retired corner lie nearly one hundred of our 
enemies who were wounded, taken prisoners and died. Many 
of the latter were captured at the desperate sortie the British 
made at Fort Erie, August 15th, 1S14, and the blowing up of 
the magazine. There were several hundred prisoners taken at 
this encounter; many of them were wounded most horribly, 
having been blown up when the magazine exploded. 

On the second day after the sortie, 1 saw a number of wagon 
loads of those blackened and maimed British soldiers, as 
they stopped in front of my father's "house on their way to 
the hospital. ' 

Recently with one of the oldest residents oi the town, Hon. 


T. A. Hopkins, I visited this burying place. There was not a 
slab or monument of any kind to be seen to designate the 
graves. Only the uneven hillocks mark the spot that contains 
the bones of our unhonored dead. 

This ground is a little elevated from the surrounding land 
and road adjoining. On the border of two sides stand ten 
sugar maple trees, from one and one-fourth to two feet in diam- 
eter; all but one in a fine healthy condition. I have no doubt 
they were planted there by the comrades of those whose bones 
now occupy this ground. The tenth tree is in a state of decay, 
and like many of the human race is beginning to die at the top. 

It is known only to a few living witnesses that this spot of 
ground contains the graves of some of our dead soldiers. Our 
Government ought to erect at this beautiful, retired place, a 
suitable monument to their memory, and provide for removing 
thither the skeletons of others, when found in excavating in 
the village. 

Fort Porter. — There is a burying ground here for United 
States soldiers dying while stationed at Buffalo. The first in- 
terment was made in 1867. Up to February, 1878, there had 
been sixteen burials, all at the north corner of the ground. 

It was my original intention to include in this account only 
the burial places which belong to the early history of our city; 
having especially in mind the spots where our dead soldiers 
have been interred. I might therefore here conclude this 
paper. But I have decided to make it answer more perfectly 
to its title, by adding such information as I could gather con- 
cerning all the burial places hitherto and now existing here, 
and in the immediate neighborhood, even though I might be 
able to give, little more, if anything, in some instances, than the 
name. For the information thus emltodied, I am in a large 
measure indebted to our fellow citizen, Mr. Nicholas Ottenot, 
the extremely painstaking and accurate Secretary o\ the (»er- 


man and French Catholic Cemetery at Pine Hill, and to the 
careful inquiries of Rev. Albert Bigelow. 


Of these there have been and are quite a number. I men- 
tion these in order of the times of opening for use. 

Old St. Louis. — This was situated in Edward street, near 
Main. Burials commenced here in 1830, in ground given by 
Mr. Lecouteulx for the purpose. But in 1832, the city author- 
ities prohibited them, as they had done, in other cases, and the 
use of this ground was discontinued. The bodies were, so far 
as they could be discovered, removed to the then new grounds 
next below mentioned; and the place became the site of the 
priest's house. 

New St. Louis. — Thus it is proper to distinguish the lot re- 
ferred to (page 55 above) as set off from the city Potter's Field. 
It is situated between North and Best streets, having eighty- 
eight feet front on each; being a strip taken from the west part 
of the original five acres. It contains perhaps an acre of ground, 
more or less. It was opened in 1832, and closed in 1859. 

Old St. Marys. — This is situated on the southeast corner of 
Johnson and North streets. It was opened in 1845, and closed 
in i860. It contains about one and one-half acres. Many 
bodies have been removed to the new ground at Pine Hill; 
though the place has not been devoted to any other purpose, 
and bodies are yet lying there. 

St. Frauds Xavier. — This ground is at North Buffalo (Lower 
Black Rock.) It was opened about 1850, and is still in use. 
It is situated near the crossing of Bird street by the Falls 
branch of the New York Central Railroad, and contains about 
two acres. St. John's church. North Buffalo, has also use in 
common of this ground. 

.SV. Joseph 's. — This ground is situated at Klysville on Buffalo 
Plains, just south of the poor-house — about five miles from the 
Buffalo post-office. It was opened in 1850, and is still used. 
It contains about six acres. 


Holy Cross. — This cemetery is at Limestone Hill, South Buf- 
falo, about four miles from the post-office. It was opened in 
1855, and contains about eighty acres. 

It is distinguished as being the Bishop's cemetery, as the 
title is solely in him. In this it is different from all the other 
Roman Catholic grounds, which are either under the State law, 
incorporated and held by trustees, or are owned by the various 
parishes whose names they bear. 

This cemetery is also peculiar in that it is used exclusively 
for the burial of those of Irish birth. 

United German and French. — This is used for the burial of 
Roman Catholics of these two nationalities,- as the Holy Cross 
is for Irish persons. It is also a corporation under trustees, as 
noted in the preceding article. Besides this, it should be spe- 
cially stated that somewhat as Forest Lawn has become the 
chief Protestant and general cemetery, into that just named 
have been merged all the Roman Catholic cemeteries which 
were within the city limits, except that at Limestone Hill. Of 
it, the original fourteen acres purchased in 1858, and opened 
in 1859 for burial purposes, are now entirely filled with graves, 
and the twenty-eight acres purchased nine years ago are rapidly 
filling up. The grounds are laid out with much skill and taste; 
and by a system of records of great minuteness and accuracy, 
followed for twenty years, the Secretary is able to give in a 
moment the exact place of burial, and numerous chief descrip- 
tive and identifying facts concerning every person buried within 
this cemetery, in that time. It contains in all forty-two acres. 

Pine Hill, where this and several other cemeteries below 
mentioned are located, is on the direct Batavia road (New Gen- 
esee street) about a mile beyond the present city limits. I: is, 
on the whole, a very favorable location for cemetery purposes. 


Bethel Cemetery (Polish.) — The Bethfel Society, organized in 
1S47, purchased in 1S49 a burial place, fronting on what is now 
Fillmore avenue, between Batavia and Sycamore streets. The 


whole lot contains three and one-half acres. They opened a 
portion of it only for burials. 

The Jacobson Society (German) had previously been formed, 
though imperfectly organized; and had obtained the use of the 
above-named lot, it being then private property, for burial pur- 
poses. The first person interred here was Mrs. Elias Bern- 
heimer, wife of the owner. 

The Bethel Society, after the opening of the Pine Hill cem- 
eteries, obtained a lot there, about two and one-half acres in ex- 
tent, and in 1861 opened the ground which is now known by 
their name, m close proximity to the German and French 

The Jacobson Society was succeeded by the Beth Zion, which 
also purchased a burying ground at Pine Hill, and when after- 
wards the Temfle Society was formed, and united with Beth 
Zion as Temple Beth Zion, this ground became the property of 
the united societies and is known as 

Temple Beth Zion Cemetery. ---This contains an area bounded 
by sixty feet front and four hundred and fifty feet deep, and 
can hardly be deemed adequate to the wants and ability of our 
Jewish population. 

The old cemetery lot on Fillmore avenue has been sold to 
private parties, with express provision that the burial places 
shall always be kept well fenced and guarded, according to the 
excellent Jewish saying, " Let the dead rest." 


Cemetery of St. John (Pine Hill.) — This ground belongs to 
Lutherans. It is located on a corner of the Pine Hill and Pine 
Ridge roads. It contains several acres, bought in 1S58. The 
first interment took place July 6th, 1859. 

Holy Best or Old German Lutheran Trinity Cemetery (Pine 
Hill.) — This contains three acres, and was opened in 1S59. 

Zion Church Cemetery (Pine Hill.) — This belongs to the con- 
gregation known as the German Evangelical Reformed Zion 


Church. It contains four acres, and was opened about 1859. 

The Salem Evangelical Mission, of Zion church, also occupies 
a part of this ground. 

Mount Hope Cemetery (Pine Hill.) — This ground is the prop- 
erty of Mr. Rapin, and is appropriated to burials without re- 
spect to nationality or form of religion. 

Howard Free Cemetery (Pine Hill.) — This is a private ground, 
devoted exclusively, however, to burials from the country be- 
yond. It is not like the rest, a city burial place. 

Concordia Cemetery. — This, as its name imports, is in fact a 
union ground. It is situated on Genesee street, between the 
New York Central and Erie Railway (Niagara Falls) crossings. 
It comprises fifteen acres, bought in 1858, and opened for use 
in 1859. The grounds are appropriated as follows: 

1. The Gcrntan Evangelical St. Peter s congregation use five 

2. The German Evangelical St. Stephen s congregation, five 

3. The First German Lutheran Trinity congregation, three 

4. The keeper's premises occupy the remaining two acres. 
St. Matthew's United Church Cemetery. — This is located on 

Clinton street, near the Sulphur Springs Orphan Asylum. It 
is pleasantly situated, having a creek on its northern side, di- 
versifying the view; and the ground is well laid out and kept, 
being planted with fir and shade trees. It contains ten acres. 
and was opened in ^75. 

German Methodist Cemetery. — This belongs to the Black Rock 
'German Evangelical M. E. Church, North Buffalo. It is situ- 
ated on Bird street, and contains about five and one-quarter 
acres. It was opened in 1870. 

Fcscrvation Cemetery. — This is the old Indian church bury- 
ing ground, on the continuation of Seneca street, and has with- 
in the general enclosure, of which it forms a part, the grave of 
the celebrated Indian Chief, Red Jacket. This chief. contrary 


to his own decidedly expressed will, was buried with Christian 
rites; his wife being a Christian woman. Only his grave, how- 
ever, is now in this cemetery, for his remains were removed to 
the Cattaraugus Reservation, in 1852, and the exact place 
where they lie is known only to his own descendants. It is to 
be hoped that before long, as all objections on the part of his 
people have been removed, a suitable place will be furnished 
for their reception in Forest Lawn. His grave-stone, erected 
by the actor, Henry Placide, is now among the relics possessed 
bv the Buffalo Historical Society. • 

As now, in conclusion, we glance over the past seventy-five 
years, and sweep the eye around our present city, within the 
circuit of five or six miles from the post-office, what strange 
thoughts are awakened ! In that time nearly three generations 
have passed away; and while now one hundred and fifty thous- 
and people dwell upon the surface, we may almost literally say 
that the ground occupied by these busy multitudes is, or has 
been, well nigh everywhere, a burial place for the dead. How 
true become to us the words of Solomon, and how impressive 
the lessons which they suggest: 

"One generation passeth away, and another generation eometh, 
but the earth abideth forever." 

And as we turn from our visit to the great City of the Dead, let 
us the more reverently cherish their memory, and, emulating 
their virtues, while avoiding their errors, seek to be ready, so 
that when "our summons comes," we may each 

"Approach the grave- 
As one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and ties down to pleasant dreams." 


SEPTEMBER 28, 1866. 


Place for the dead — 
Not in the noisy city's crowd and glare, 
By heated walls and dusty streets, but where 
The balmy breath of the free summer air 
Moves murmuring softly o'er the new-made grave, 
Rustling among the boughs which wave 

Above the dwellers there. 

Rest for the dead — 
Far, far from the turmoil and strife of trade, 
Let the broken house of the soul be laid, 
Where the violets blossom in the shade, 
And the voices of Nature do softly fall 
Over the silent sleepers all — 

Where rural graves are made. 

Room for the dead — 
Away from the crowded and ghastly, caves, 
Where the dead lie heap'd and the thick strewn graves 
Do jostle each other like following waves — 



In the place where earth's broad bosom yields 
Room for the dead, in woods and fields, 
Which dying nature craves. 

Place for the dead — 
In the quiet glen where the wild vines creep, 
And the desolate mourner may wait and weep, 
In some silent place, o'er the loved who sleep; 
Nor sights, nor sounds profane, disturb their moan- 
Wit h God and with the dead alone — 

"Deep calleth unto deep." 

Rest for the dead — 
Away from all walls — where the wild bird sings. 

And the hurrying cloud its shadow flings 

O'er streamlet and rock, where the ivy clings 

To the ancient oak — the dead should lie, 

Till on the ear of death the cry 

Of final judgment rings. 

Peace for the dead — 
After life's warfare let the dead repose 
Where no levies are made — no usurer goes, 
No' taxes, no debts, no pecuniary woes. 
To transfer to strangers the sanctified ground 
Which the wayworn and weary have happily found- 
Where Lethe, waveless, flows. 

Homes for the dead — 
Where the kindred who dwell together here, 
May guard their own Necropolis, and rear 
The Household Marble — as the sombre bier 
Brings each departed to the destined home — 
Let the name be graven on the stone — 

'l'o memory ever dear. 


Room for the dead — 
The living wait their doom, the gay, the strong. 
The beautiful, together soon must throng 
The doors of death, and they who mourn, ere long, 
Must lie with kindred dust, and, soon or late, 
All pass the ever open gate — 

Room — room, Oh! give them room! 






There are few sights more saddening, more humbling to hu- 
man pride, than one of those neglected graveyards occasionally 
found in the suburbs of our American cities. It is usually a 
wild, unkempt field, dotted with sunken graves — graves hidden 
in a riotous growth of weeds, tangled vines and briers — graves 
marked by stained and fractured slabs of marble rudely sculp- 
tured, and either prostrate or tottering to their fall — graves 
tramped and defiled by grazing cattle — graves enclosed by rot- 
ting and dilapidated fences — graves which reproach and beseech 
us with the mute eloquence of things holy and precious, when 
they are fallen into neglect and decay. 

The friends of the dead who so long ago were tenderly laid 
to rest there, are either themselves dead or have drifted far away; 
and' among the new and busy generation which has succeeded 
them there is found no pious hand to plant flowers or trail vines 
about the tombs — no Old Mortality to scrape away the lichens 
from the record of the graver's chisel — no Ciood Samaritan to 
lift into position the fallen slab, or even to replace the broken 
picket which shut out the four-footed vandals, and the more 
cruel and wanton gamins of the street. The din ami roar or' 


the great city comes faintly swelling on the ear; but these lowly 
sleepers are not more heedless of the life surging through its 
streets, than are the living toilers there oblivious of the mem- 
ory of the dead pioneers who helped to lay broad and deep its 

We have had several such neglected graveyards in the sub- 
urbs of Buffalo. The expansion of the city has swept some of 
them away, but one or two remain; and one, the most venera- 
ble and' interesting of all, the old Mission burial ground, four 
miles east of Main street. Buffalo was but a hamlet when the 
missionaries first planted the banner of the cross on this holy 
spot. Near by was the principal village of the Senecas. In 
close proximity was the grand council-house, which often re- 
sounded to the eloquent 'tones of Farmers' Brother and Red 
Jacket; the latter of whom long but ineffectually strove to pre- 
vent the introduction of Christianity among his people. The 
name Buffalo Creek is often used in our earlier annals to desig- 
nate the place where important treaties were held and war par- 
ties formed in the olden time. But long before the advent of 
the white man, and during the period of aboriginal sovereignty, 
it was one of the most important points on the continent. An 
ancient race called the Kah-Kwahs erected their bark houses on 
the banks of the creek, and hunted the deer through the forests 
at this extremity erf Lake Krie. Still earlier, a mysterious tribe 
called the Kries claimed sovereignty over this territory. Both 
of these tribes in turn were exterminated by the fierce and war- 
like Iroquok or Six Nations, of which league the Senecas were 
the most powerful member. Until a few years since a large 
mound,* close to the old cemetery, filled with the bones oi slain 
Kah-Kwahs, remained a monument to the prowess of the Sen- 
ecas. But there were Other remains still more interesting to 
the antiquarian and archaeologist. The old cemetery occupied 
the site of one of" those ancient circular forts whose origin has 


given rise to so much speculation and controversy. Twenty 
years ago the intrenchments were plainly discernible, but the 
plow and the spade have now obliterated the last trace of them. 
A diagram of this ancient intrenchment can be found in School- 
craft's ; ' Notes on the Iroquois," and it is noticed in other kin- 
dred works. • 

Our old settlers, the boys of fifty years ago t preserve a vivid 
recollection of what they saw in the old Indian villages scat- 
tered along' Buffalo creek from the locality of the cemetery to 
near the present village of Aurora. Men like Hon. Orlando 
Allen can remember when, on the occasion of the arrest of 
Tommy Jemmy by the whites, on the charge of murder, the 
town swarmed with scowling warriors. They remember how 
the Indians gathered on Ellicott Square were aroused to a pitch 
of frenzy by the fierce arraignment of the pale-faces by Red 
Jacket; how the stoutest hearts began to quail at the thought 
of an Indian massacre, and how the noble sachem, Captain 
Pollard, scarcely inferior to Red Jacket as an orator, replied 
to that chief, and stilled the tumultuous waves of passion by 
his eloquence. 

The old Indian village was a favorite place of resort to the 
truant school boy; and to the good boys likewise who had the 
freedom of a holiday, forty or fifty years ago. It was a rare 
treat to behold the mystic sacrifice of the white dog; to see the 
dusky maidens and stalwart warriors engaged in the monoto- 
nous, but not ungraceful, measures of the strawberry dance: to 
behold the mysteries of the green-corn festival and other pagan 
ceremonies. We call them "pagan," but the Senecas wor- 
shipped, as we do, the one great and good Spirit, the Creator 
and Sovereign of the universe. Not rarely was it the good for- 
tune of the boys aforesaid, to be spectators at one o\ those ex- 
citing ball plays between the picked youth of rival tribes naked 
to the waist, plumed and painted, and withal mnrvelously a„ le, 
expert and graceful. How we admired their proud bearing; 
their dark, flashing eyes, gleaming through a ma>k of paint. 


and their lithe, Apollo-like forms. If nothing was going on to 
interrupt the lazy current of Indian life, there was still enough 
queer and phenomenal about it to interest the pale-faced spec- 
tator; to see the squaws pounding samp with the primitive pes- 
tle and mortar, or engaged in their rude husbandry; while their 
little wind-rocked* pappooses swung from the branches of a 
tree; to watch the lazy fisherman bending over his bark canoe to 
catch a glimpse of bass or pickerel, or the Indian boy scouting 
along the edge of the woods, bow and arrow in hand, in quest 
of feathered trophies. If it were winter, and a firm crust was 
on the snow, one never tired of seeing the Indian youth propel 
the snow-snakes. Heads erect, as if in anger, with what amaz- 
ing velocity these wooden serpents would glide along; and woe 
to the reckless wight whose foot opposed their career; it would 
be long ere he was afforded another holiday. And then, O boy 
of forty years ago, what strange intimacies we formed; what 
queer friendships with our Seneca playmates! How they taught 
us to ensnare the birds and squirrels; how they confided to us 
the secret hiding place of the furry and feathered denizens of 
the woods — where the ripe red strawberry gemmed the mead- 
ows, where the blueberries and the luscious Indian plums hung 
their sweets. How with them we chased and mounted the 
saucy, incorrigible little Indian ponies; and — confess it with a 
heart throb — how persi teritly we essayed to win from the shy, 
black eyes of the Seneca girls one look of favor, and how we 
loved to listen to their soft, gleeful laughter and the music of 
their speech. The admixture of races had developed in some oi 
/these Indian girls the highest type of'beauty. There was in the 
countenances of these half-caste maidens a painful wounded, 
yet disdainful look, that was very touching, and reminded one 
of Powers' statue of the Greek slave. The Anglo-Saxon in- 
tellect, refinement and delicacy asserted themselves, even though 
in barbaric bonds. 

A grand Indian council was a great event in those days 
When the weather was fair, and in the season o\ blossoms, the 


council fire was frequently lighted in the open air. The paint- 
ing by Stanton entitled "The Trial of Red Jacket," chromo 
copies of which can be found in all our art stores, gave a very 
good idea of the scenery in the vicinity of the council house. 
The artist made a study of the scene, I believe, in his early 
days. One of these councils called together the bulk of the 
nation. Groups of gaily dressed squaws, of stern and stalwart 
warriors, were scattered about the grove with a look of sober 
expectancy on their swarthy faces. Subordinate chiefs, in all 
the pomp of paint and feathers, flitted about the scene, but 
nothing could exceed the air of grandeur, of sublime indiffer- 
ence to all mundane affairs, with which the great sachems stalked 
through the silent and respectful crowd. 

A friend told me that when a boy he attended a council con- 
vened to listen to the overtures of the Ogden Land Company, 
who sought to purchase the Indian title to this region. Wan- 
dering curiously from one picturesque group to another, my in- 
formant relates that he came across a noble looking chief, ele- 
gantly costumed, but stretched at full length under a wide- 
spreading tree. His head rested upon his elbow, and one hand 
was employed in separating into two piles a bundle of small 
sticks, while his lips moved as if he were rehearsing some part 
of a drama. It was Red Jacket recounting the heads of his 
great speech. The agent, or spokesman, of the Land Company 
was an able, adroit and eloquent man. but his oratory was far 
less effective than that of the Indian. "I was struck," said the 
narrator, "with the exordium of each. The white speaker made 
no allusion to a Supreme Being or a protecting Providence. The 
Indian commenced, with his arms outstretched towards heaven, 
thanking the Great Spirit for sparing their lives, and surround- 
ing them with so many mercies. Then, turning to the agent ^i 
the land speculator with a look of withering scorn, and in tones 
deep and measured, he said: k I told you six years ago never 
to ask the Senecas to bargain away their country while Red 
Jacket lived, and Red jacket stands before vou!" * 


Then there was the little mission church. It was a treat to 
go there on a Sunday and hear the gospel as it is in English, 
transmuted into the language of the woods; to hear the bird-like 
voices of the young choir, and to witness the devout air of the 
little crowd of worshippers. The interpreter was a white cap- 
tive taken somewhere in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary 
war when he was a little child. His little sister managed to es- 
cape, but all the family save himself and her, fell victims to the 
tomahawk. He was adopted into an Indian family and kept 
in ignorance of his origin until he had arrived at manhood. 
Then an irresistible impulse urged him to revisit the scenes of 
his childhood, and look upon the face of his long-lost sister. 
With such information as the Indians could impart he set out 
on foot on his long journey through the wilderness, which 
stretched from Buffalo creek to the Pennsylvania settlements. 
He found his sister at last, the mistress of a beautiful home, 
surrounded by her children. He watched her movements and 
listened to her tones with a yearning heart, while the bread she 
gave the famished wanderer almost choked him. Then, with- 
out disclosing his identity, and with a heavy heart, he retraced 
his steps to the home of his adopted people. His sister lived 
and was happy; he would not reveal to her the sad fate of 
her brother, whom her fancy pictured as an angel in heaven, 
rather than as a barbarian of the woods. 

We were always sure to meet among the little throng of rev- 
erent worshippers such men as Seneca White, Deacon Two- 
Guns, Captain Pollard and Young King. Pollard was a tall, 
benevolent-looking old man, with features and complexion ap- 
proaching the type of Southern Europe. He was a man liter- 
all v "without guile." Who that ever heard him pray and ex- 
hort in that little chapel, and witnessed his gentle, blameless 
life, could believe that he was a fierce warrior in Revolutionary 
days, and one of the leaders in the ^nassacre of Wyoming! 
Young King was a very Goliath in bulk and stature; his face 
seamed with >rars. the rim of his ears slit with a knife and pen- 


•dent to his shoulders, one arm gone and the other crippled, and 
yet as noble looking as a dethroned and battered Colossus. Red 
Jacket was never seen in church until the missionaries brought 
his dead body there. Chief Stevenson was always there. I can 
see him now — his long, dark, waving hair sweeping to his 
shoulders — his pensive and Raphael-like face. Stevenson was 
a half-breed, his mother a Seneca princess, his father a colonial 
military officer. ' When the Senecas decided to cast their for- 
tunes with- the British, at the opening of the Revolutionary war, 
his mother was constrained by her fierce and jealous relatives 
to abandon the hated offspring in the woods, near Cayuga Lake; 
and the agonized parent, with the rest of her family, was hur- 
ried to the British post, Fort Niagara. Her poor babe, but 
little more than three years old, wandered for two days in the 
woods, subsisting on such wild berries as chance threw in his 
way. When almost famished, a kind Providence directed the 
poor child's steps to a rude hut on the banks of the lake, which 
was the home of an Indian recluse — a Penobscot hunter who 
had wandered far from the home of his tribe in the wilds of 
Maine. This kind old man took the child into his cabin, fed 
and nourished him, taught him to fish and hunt, and treated 
him with fatherly kindness. When the long and dreary war 
was over, the babe, grown to be a handsome stripling, took an 
affectionate leave of his adopted father, and wandered back to 
Buffalo creek, where he was soon clasped in the arms of his de- 
lighted and weeping mother. 

We have almost forgotten the existence of our old neighbors 
— our predecessors in the proprietorship of this beautiful re- 
gion — and what we owe them. We have forgotten that when 
the tocsin of war rang out along this frontier. Fanner's Brother, 
Young King, Fittle Billy and their warriors volunteered their 
services to their white brothers, and fought bravely in several 
hotly-contested battles. The British set the example of em- 
ploying savage warriors, and the atrocities ot the River Raisin 
and Fort Miami are an indelible stain on the British arms. 


We can scarcely realize to-day the horror and fear inspired by 
these ruthless allies of King George. Our Senecas met these 
savages at Chippewa, and so effectually chastised them that 
they could never again in any considerable numbers be per- 
suaded to take the war-path against the Yankees. To the glory 
of our Senecas, be it said, they took no scalps, mangled or 
killed no wounded prisoner, and conducted themselves with as 
much moderation and humanity as their blue-coated allies. 
Even Red Jacket, never renowned as a warrior, freely exposed 
his life, and fought bravely on this occasion. 

Yes, let us forget the Senecas. The remnants of them which 
survive are no longer our neighbors. All are gone. How we 
robbed them of their Reservation — let us forget that, too, if 
we can. The Quakers, and occasionally some historian, will 
let out the dreadful secret, but the masses care little for the 
red man or his wrongs. The Indian stands no longer in the 
path of progress. The great city, year by year, expands and 
reclaims a portion of his hunting grounds. Soon the sites of 
the old council house and mission, the homes of Red Jacket, 
the captive Mary Jemison, Pollard and Young King, will be 
covered by busy manufactories or marts of traffic. Where the 
"Cicero of the wilds" declaimed to a grave and dignified con- 
course of blanketed sac hems and warriors, ward politicians 
will discuss, over foaming mugs of lager, schemes of plunder, 
or devise new ways to thwart the popular will; and the city 
will grow; men will wax rich and die, and be forgotten; law 
and philanthropy will grapple, as if in a death struggle, with 
the irrepressible forces of vice and squalor and crime, and 
some cynic will by and by wonder if, after all, the children of 
the woods wer*-' not as wise and happy as we. 

The old mission church, for years degraded to the office of a 
barn, has at last been torn down. Near by was the dwelling 
of the captive, Mary Jemison, and witlfm sight was Red Jacket's 
cabin. Both have long since disappeared. A few logs and a 
heap of stones mark the locality of the old council house. 


The old Hebrew cemetery at Newport was deemed a fitting 
theme for Longfellow's muse; but the old Mission burial ground 
of Buffalo is voiceful of greater pathos and a more thrilling 
story. It is connected with the history of a wronged and nearly 
extinct race. It is the only memorial of their presence which 
the ancient lords of the soil have left us. There in their dream- 
less slumber repose the stern warriors of the wilderness — a long 
line of forest chieftains, braves and sages. There sleep in their 
forgotten graves, and side by side with their dusky neophytes, 
the patient and self-denying missionaries and their families. 
There lies the faithful warrior who guided the youthful Wash- 
ington on his mission to Fort Du Quesne; and there, too, re- 
poses many a captive, the narrative of whose life surpasses the 
wildest dream of romance. When the proud heart of Red 
Jacket was stilled in death, — when the far-famed captive, the 
" White Woman," died with the prayer her murdered mother 
taught her in infancy on her aged lips, this holy ground received 
them into its bosom. Every foot of its surface has been watered 
with tears wrung from hearts that were breaking. Let us spare 
this ancient graveyard. It has been consecrated by the prayers 
of many whose lives were saintly and beautiful, and who now 
wear the white robes and the crown of glory. It belongs to a 
romantic era, tearful with the pathos of the retiring red men, 
and shining with the heroism of advancing pioneers. Oh, Mr. 
Stettenbenx! Oh, Mr. Mahoney!* whichever, Teuton or Celt, 
the unsympathetic and blind goddess decrees to be the lord of 
our public grounds, be merciful and be pleased to spare this 
ancient and historic burial-ground! 

"But ali! what once has been shall he no more: 
The groaning earth in travail ami in pain 
Brings forth its races, but does not restore, 
And the dead nations never rise again." 

♦This sketch was written some years ago, during the pendency of .1 lawsuit « hi* h was 

to determine the rival claims ot Mr. Stettenben/ ami Mr. Mahoney to the office* f street 
superintendent. «. C. B. 





The Ferry which had its landing-place at the foot of the 
highway now called Fort street, is the oldest institution in 
this city; and it is proper that its history should be written, in 
part performance of that duty which this Society has assumed. 
and owes to the community. From public documents and 
the laws of our State, much of it has been collected; more of 
it from the testimony of the early settlers on this part of the 
Niagara frontier; and beyond the point to which their own 
recollection extends, they have furnished me with facts, which 
they gathered from men who, at a much earlier period, found 
their way to the Niagara river. 

The Old Ferry was, it is believed, a crossing-place at a 
period as early as the Revolutionary war; but whatever esti- 
mate may be placed upon the authority cited for this statement, 
the evidence of its existence in 1796 is clear and incontrovert- 
ible. By this passage many of the early settlers of Canada 
journeyed to their western homes; and over it the first emi- 
grants into Michigan were carried, on their pilgrimage to found 
a new State. That part of our city formejiv known as the vil- 

riicti, April lath, 1867. 



lage of Black Rock, is on historic ground; and the most excit- 
ing events which are on record, concerning our earlier days, 
transpired there. At the risk of a digression from my subject, 
let me refer to a few of them in a brief manner, more as a hint 
to others for their collection and preservation, than for the 
purpose of detailed narrative. 

On the high hill or bluff, which overlooked the ferry, old 
Fort Adams, or Battery Swift, was situated. There is now, in 
the office of the Niagara Street Railroad Company, a box of 
balls, bullets and other implements of war, which were found 
in the soil by those digging for the foundation of the depot 
building. The Maryland Gazette, of December 22d, 1763, con- 
tains an account of a battle between a detachment of English 
soldiers, who were moving from Fort Schlosser toward Detroit, 
and a body of Indians, whom they encountered at the foot of 
Lake Erie. The skeletons of Indians (arranged in the form of 
a circle, with their feet toward the center, and placed against 
a large iron kettle, their heads resting on hatchets, and form- 
ing the circumference of the circle), found by Col. Bird while 
preparing the ground for his present residence,* show that 
this was the burial place of Indians killed in battle; and afford 
presumptive evidence that this was the scene of the engagement. 

A skirmish between the American and British troops oc- 
curred at the junction of Niagara and Sixth streets, which re- 
sulted in the death of Colonel Bishop, who commanded the 
enemy's party; and the same foray came near depriving us of 
the services of General Porter, who barely escaped capture as 
the enemy passed up the road to attack Fort Adams. They 
marched toward the residence of the General, which was upon 
the site occupied by the old Thayer tavern, where the Rev. Mr. 
Robie now resides,! and would have taken him prisoner had 
not his housekeeper, discovering the advance guard, aroused him 
from sleep, and enabled him to hasten, half -clad, into the woods. 

*(',.!. William A. l:ird died. August 19th, 1878. 
tOn Niagara St.. nt.\ir Auburn, 


Below this place, at the mouth of the Scoijoiquoides creek, 
a part of Commodore Perry's fleet was fitted out under the 
superintendence of Henry Eckford, afterwards renowned at 
home and abroad as a naval constructor; and near by, upon 
the bank, the battle of Black Rock was fought, at about the 
same period of time. 

While I am thus indulging in a ramble away from my sub- 
ject, the opportunity shall be improved of submitting to this 
Society the task of discovering the true orthography of the 
name of this stream; whether it is Scoijoiquoides, Scajaquada, 
Scajaquadies, Conjocketty, Conjecitors, Unnekugua or Unne- 
kuguddies creek; for I have found the name written in these 
various ways. 

It must not be forgotten that in Breckenridge street, near 
the old brick church, General Scott planted his cannon to 
cover the British armed vessels which were in the stream, pre- 
pared to attack the miniature but historical steamboat Caro- 
line on her passage up the river during the so-called Patriot 

It will thus be seen that the ground at the old ferry, and in 
its immediate vicinity, is replete with historical interest. 

But I now return to my immediate subject, the history of 
The Old Ferry. 

Captain James Sloan, a resident of Black Rock, who is well 
known as a man of great intelligence and integrity, and who has 
contributed largely to our local history in articles scattered 
through the columns of the city journals, came to the ferry in 
the year 1810. The ground now occupied by the Niagara Street 
Railroad buildings, was or had been an Indian field; for it was 
cleared and leveled, and on the south and east was bounded 
by a dense forest. 

This venerable gentleman, who recollects with accuracy and 
relates with precision his early adventure^ in the West, full o\ 
stirring incident and exploit, speaks with enthusiasm of the 
view which opened to his sight, when he for the first time stood 


upon this old field. The majestic Niagara, with an unbroken 
expanse, bore its affluent flood to the cataract, between banks 
covered with the primeval forest, indented with the scattered 
huts of the settlers on the Canada shore; and gave to view, on 
its tolerant bosom, the wooded islands which, in a bygone age, 
it had torn away from the protecting embrace of the main land. 
Under Fort Erie the British fleet, commanded by Commodore 
Barclay, was anchored; while a few batteaux were moving slug- 
gishly up the stream, laden with salt. These constituted the 
commercial marine of the river, the principal business of which 
was the transportation of this commodity from Porter .x: Barton's 
dock, at old Fort Schlosser, to their warehouse at Black Rock, 
or their wharf under the lee of Bird Island, to be conveyed 
thence to Erie, then the principal commercial port on our lake. 
There are but few persons now living who know anything of 
the lake and river commerce from the year 1805 to the com- 
mencement of the last war with England. It consisted mainly 
in the transportation of salt between the places and over the 
route I have mentioned, to be conveyed to Pittsburg. 

Four or five vessels were engaged in this business on the river, 
each carrying from one hundred and twenty-five to one hun- 
dred and fifty barrels of salt, owned by Porter, Barton & Co.: 
4heir proprietors residing at Black Rock and Syracuse. When 
the wind was blowing down the lake, the vessels running from 
Black Rock to Erie were frequently wind-bound at the former 
place for a long time; and then and there would grow an accu- 
mulation of five or six thousand barrels of salt, which were 
piled in tiers upon the shore of the river, under the bank, and 
remained stored in this way until they could be carried to Erie. 
"'Hie Black Rock" was the great salt exchange; and the wit- 
nesses upon whose statements I narrate these facts say that it 
was not a rare occurrence for the Rock to be covered with 
traders from Pittsburg, captains of vessels and boatmen, who 
met there to talk about business and interchange views, Tin- 
Black Rock was a M) rt of commercial center for the salt mer- 


chants in those early days; and the old tavern was quite as dis- 
tinguished along the frontier as the Fifth Avenue and St. Nich- 
olas are in our time. 

Two roads led to the ferry from the main Batavia road. 
The old Indian trail or path, which was the traveled way for 
the Indians going between the Genesee and Grand rivers, di- 
verged at what was then known as the Four Mile creek, and 
pursuing the present route of Bouck street, came upon the river 
bank at what is now Fort street. The other road, called the 
Guide Board Road, from the old cross-board at Main street 
pointing out its direction, crossed Main street, and followed 
York street to St.. Joseph's College; thence south-westerly into 
Niagara street. It will be noticed that St. Joseph's College 
forms an angle with North street, and does not front upon it. 
The cause of this is seen at once in the former route of the 
Guide Board Road, which ran directly in front of the building 
and joined the present Niagara street, at the residence of F. 
C. Hill, long known as the old Callender place.* Niagara 
street had been surveyed, and the trees to some extent cleared 
off; but for the most part it was an impassable swamp, dis- 
agreeable to travel. It was rendered comfortable, in a very 
slight degree, at a later period, by a corduroy road, which old 
residents will recollect. The traveled road to Buffalo was by 
way of the ferry, under the bluff, to the lake shore, and then 
along the broad, hard and level beach to the Terrace. Four or 
five years ago there lived at Wind Mill Point, in Canada, a 
very aged man by the name of Silas Carter. He had been a 
soldier in the American army during the Revolution, and while 
it was encamped at Morristown, he was in some capacity 
attached to the immediate family of Washington. When he 
died, his age was an hundred years; and though he married at 
seventy-five years of age, he left behind him three children o\ 
the marriage, who are now living and nave* families. He was 

the Res, 


well known to Captain Sloan, who vouches for his intelligence 
and veracity. Carter told him that there was a crossing-place 
at the Old Ferry when he came into the country before the 
Revolutionary war closed; and that it was the only such place 
above the Falls. He spoke of it as a ferry, though no legally 
established ferry existed there until a later date. In 1796, it was 
well known as a ferry or crossing-place. In 1800, Augustus 
Porter, then of Canandaigua, had a contract with the govern- 
ment for carrying the mail to Fort Niagara, and he says that 
his route was from Canandaigua over the road to the ferry, and 
then down the Canada shore to Fort Niagara. Cen. Timothy 
A. Hopkins, late of Williamsville, in this county, once said 
that he raised the first wheat grown on the Holland Purchase, 
in a field ten miles east of Clarence; and that he carried that 
wheat in a wagon, drawn by three yoke of oxen, over the ferry 
at Black Rock, to Street's Mills at the Falls; and complained 
of the charge for ferriage, which was twenty shillings each way. 
Dr. Dwight, once President of Yale College, mentions the ferry, 
and says, in his " Journey Through the State of New York," 
that his party crossed it without inconvenience, though with 
much fatigue to the boatmen. A writer in the Port Folio, a 
literary periodical published in New York in 1S10, in his ac- 
count of a " Ride to Niagara," says that he came to Miller's 
Ferry, along the bank of the lake; and notices the old route by 
way of Pouck street as "a short way to the ferry, if there be 
no object in going to Buffalo." The narrative proceeds: 

*' The stone which bounds the river line is a mass of black chert. I ar- 
rived about twelve o'clock, M.; the ice was so thick in the River Niagara, 
that it was impossible to cross until three o'clock, l\ m. There were three 
wagons of emigrants waiting to cross to the British side, from Schoharie, in 
New York .state, and Buffaloe, in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. 
They were chiefly Germans. They expected about two hundred acres of 
land to cost them fifty dollars. 1 understand the British Government sell it 
at forty dollars per two hundred acres. .The crossing here is three-quarters 
of a mile wide; half a dollar for man and horse. They catch abundance ^i 
fish with a seine. The family were dining on pickerel anil salmon trout, 
each four and a half pounds weight." 


This will be sufficient to show the importance of the ferry, 
and the large extent of the business done there early in this 
century. In fact, the business at the ferry, and the peculiar 
advantages of the vicinage, as a site for a village or town, 
alarmed Joseph Ellicott; for in 1802, he wrote to Paul Busti, 
general agent of the Holland Land Purchase, saying: 

"The State, at the last Legislature, had passed an act, providing for the 
purchase of the Indian possessory right to these lands, the southern part oi 
which reached Xew Amsterdam;" 


"There is a situation on the lands equal to or better than that of New 
Amsterdam for a town; so that if the State offers the land for sale this sum- 
mer, before Xew Amsterdam gets into operation, much of time will be lo>t 
to the future prosperity of the place." 

" New Amsterdam" was then the name of the Buffalo Creek 
settlement; and the southern extremity of the Indian lands, of 
which he speaks, was a point in the late south village of Black 
Rock, which, it will be remembered, once comprehended all 
that part of the old city situated between the State Reservation 
line and the Niagara river; this line meeting the river at the 
foot of Genesee street. 

The landing-place on the Canada side of the river was always 
at the present site; and the earliest name I can find among the 
ferrymen is that of (iilmore. He was a man of good family, 
who had fled from Pennsylvania into Canada, to escape pun- 
ishment for some political riot or fight in which he had become 
involved. Captain Sloan knew him sixty years ago, when he 
lived on the Monongahela river, and says that he was a highly 
respectable man, and amassed property in Canada, owning a 
farm at Waterloo; but that his houses and barns were burned 
during the war, and he himself returned to Pennsylvania. 
Windnecker (or Windeeker) was ferryman for a time, and 
then Hardison, whose widow perhaps s6mepf you may know ; 
an aged woman, who resides at Fort Erie. The ferry afterwards 
passed into the hands of Mr. Warren and Colonel Kirby; the 


latter of whom was a notorious character on the frontier during 
the war, and up to the time of his death made it hi- business 
to protect His IJrittannic Majesty's rights, and see to it that 
they were not trenched upon by the democrats over the river. 

We come now to the landing upon our side. Here one Con. 
O'Niel was the ferryman at a very early day, living by "the 
black rock," in a hut, which was at once his ferry house, and 
home. In the year 1800, there was a tolerable road over the site 
of the present' Fort street, leading to the river margin over a Hat 
or plateau of land about two hundred feet in width. L'pon the 
northern extremity of this plateau there was a black rock, in shape 
an irregular triangle, projecting into the river; having a breadth 
of about one hundred feet at the north end, and extending south- 
ward and along the river for a distance of three hundred feet, 
gradually inclining to the south-east, until it was lost in the 
sand. The rock was four or five feet high, and at its southern 
extremity it was square, so that an eddy was formed there into 
which the ferry boat could be brought, and where it would be 
beyond the influence of the current. From this rock, teams 
could be driven into the boat, over a connecting lip or bridge. 
The natural harbor, thus formed, was almost perfect, and could 
not have been made, by the appliances of art, a more complete 
dock or landing-place for a boat. In fact, no other part of our 
river or shore above the Falls afforded such facility for a cross- 
ing-place. The river was narrow at this point, and the landing 
safe. These facts create a presumption in favor ot' the state- 
ment that it was the old and common point for crossing the 

'ITiis rock was a well-known spot* and had long been a fish- 
ing-ground for the Indians. It is said that the herring came 
to the rock in such numbers, that a barrel full of them was 
thrown on it with three casts of a large net. Near the rock, 
and south of it, upon the river margin, was a plain or field which 
was used by the Indians when they held their sports or practiced 
their games; while the wooded height above afforded to them 


a kitchen and dormitory. In a few years, quite a hamlet grew 
up around the black rock; but it was not until the year 1S10 or 
181 1, that any buildings were erected on the site of the present 
village. When Mr. Lester Brace first visited the rock, in 1S07, 
there were no buildings in the vicinity, except the Porter, Bar- 
ton & Co. warehouse, which has before been spoken of as being 
at the foot of Breckenridge street; a house which Nathaniel 
Sill had built on Auburn street, and a log hut on the site of 
Albany street. The place was then. called "the Black Rock 
Ferry;" and it is consistent with the facts stated, to suppose 
that it was so called from the rock, of which some description 
has been given. This was not only a conspicuous mark, but 
a well-established business point on the river, at which the 
crossing-place or ferry had been for many years; and doubtless 
gave its name to the ferry and to the hamlet which afterwards 
sprung up at that place, not a trace of which now exists.* 

In 1802, the Legislature passed an act which provided for the 
negotiation of a treaty with the Seneca Indians, the object of 
which was the extinguishment of the Indian title to the Mile 
Strip Reservation on the Niagara river. This act recognizes 
the existence of a ferry at this place; for it provides that the 
treaty to be negotiated should not prejudice the right of The 
People of the State of New York to the ferry across the Niagara 
river. To this act Mr. KUicott refers in his letter to Mr. Busti, 
in which he expresses some apprehension that the future town 
would be located at Black Rock. The language of the act 
implies by fair construction an existing and prescriptive right, 
vested in The People of the State of New York, to a ferry at Black 
Rock; and to have created that right, twenty years previous- 
continued existence would have been necessary. If this right 
was thus recognized by the State, it will sustain Carter's state- 
ment that the ferry existed during the Revolutionary war. 
By the treaty of 1802, made with the Indkms under this act, 

* See Addciiifti, pp. tio-112. 


their right to use this crossing place at Black Rock is fully 
protected, and the tract of land bordering on the river, one mile 
wide, running from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is ceded to the 
State. The first statutory provision affecting the ferry, author- 
ized the commissioners of the land office to lease it, with 
one hundred acres of land, en such terms as they might 
deem proper,, for the period of eight years; reserving the right 
of the Indians in accordance with the treaty. This statute 
does not refer to the one hundred acres now known as the 
ferry lot, on the south side of which the present ferry is estab- 
lished. This tract is north of the old ferry a quarter of a mile 
or more, and was conveyed in 1815 to Gen. Peter P. Porter, to 
whom it was offered as a gift; but he refused to accept the title 
without making compensation to the State. I have noticed for 
some time past that the stone monument which denotes the 
south line of the ferry lot upon the easterly side of Niagara 
street, has been misplaced and lies upon the street. It could 
now without difficulty be restored, and a survey 1 suppose 
would be necessary; but it should be done at once to save 
future trouble in establishing the course of that line. In 1S06 
the ferry was leased or directed to be leased to Alexander 
Rea, but I- cannot find that he ever availed himself of his priv- 
ilege; for Major Frederick Miller appears to have taken posses- 
sion of the ferry in that year, and to have retained it until 1812. 
During the interval the business of the ferry was steadily grow- 
ing, for there was an emigration to Canada that increased up 
to the commencement of the war. The rivalry between the 
proprietors of the Holland Purchase, or rather their agents, 
and the agents of the Canadian government, was vigorously con- 
ducted: and the representations of the latter to the prejudice 
of the Holland Purchase, succeeded in turning considerable 
emigration across the river. In [812, Mr. Orange Brace be- 
came the lessee of the ferry; but that was an exceedingly dull 
year. Verv little business was done on the frontier after war 
was declared. 

AT THE /iLAC A" ROC A'. ioi 

I have said before that Mr. Lester Brace visited the ferry in 
1807. It will be unnecessary to say more of him than that he 
was the son of Orange Brace, one of the hardy and resolute 
men who came to Western New York from New England in 
1790; and to show that the father was a man eminently fitted 
to be a pioneer of civilization in the West, it will be sufficient 
to say that in December, 1790, he returned to Connecticut 
on foot, with judge Augustus Porter, and traveled a portion 
of the journey on snow shoes. Mr. Lester Brace left Bennington 
in what is now Wyoming county, with an ox team and wagon, 
accompanied by some neighbors, to visit the frontier on busi- 
ness; and crossing the Indian Reservation his party were over- 
taken in the woods by a severe snow storm which drove them 
under their wagon for shelter, and compelled them to remain 
there all night. Pursuing their journey, they reached Landon's 
tavern, now the Mansion House, and turning into Commercial 
street they traveled by way of the creek and the lake beach. 
down to Major Miller's tavern at the old ferry. It was filled 
with sailors and river boatmen who were holding high revel 
when Mr. Brace arrived; and the landlord, unable to keep 
them in order by gentle means, was administering such rude 
justice as the occasion demanded, and the manners of front- 
iersmen amply justified and required. In the general melee 
Mr. Brace's friends fled, seeking other quarters; but he sought 
the top of a whisky barrel in one corner of the room, on which 
he remained until morning. 

At this time there was at the ferry a house and tavern, 
with some other buildings, making a promising settlement. 
There were no other houses at Black Rock except a hut near 
the brook at Albany street; the Porter. Barton & Co. ware- 
house, and the residence of Nathaniel Sill. Of this brook I 
shall be glad to preserve recollection. It was a pretty stream, 
coming from the forest; And it meandered between wooded bank-, 
to Niagara street, where it rushed over a broken ledge oi rocks 
in a miniature fall, and poured its crystal water into the utl- 


grateful Niagara. A few years ago this laughing stream was 
turned into a sewer, and now mingles its turbid and muddy 
waters with the Erie canal. 

Major Miller's lease for an unexpired term of ten years was 
transferred to Orange Dean and Holden Allen; the latter of 
whom raised a family of stalwart boys, who became sailors and 
lake captains. • Capt. Levi Allen, of this city, with two of his 
brothers, are survivors of this family. 

Doubtless, there are many facts which have escaped my 
observation that woidd have rendered this history more inter- 
esting. The men who lived upon the frontier at that time 
possessed many admirable qualities. They were bold, accus- 
tomed to danger, self-reliant, fertile in resources and full of 
that rude energy which clears up the forests, lays the founda- 
tion of towns and makes way for a more refined civilization 
which, if it has more of the graces of life, has less real energy 
and practical sense. It is certainly desirable that sketches o\ 
these men should be preserved; for the early history of Xew 
York is to be found in the narratives of the enterprise, the 
thrift, the industry and the personal sacrifices of the early 

In 1812, the State resumed charge of the old ferry, and by 
an act of that year directed the leasing of it by the Commiss 
sioners of the band < HTice, reserving the Indian rights as pro- 
vided by the treat)'. 1 dismiss the Indians with the remark 
that this right of free ferriage was always reserved to them in 
all the leases, and I have found no statute which deprives them 
of their ancient privileges. 

The war-cloud began to lower over the border, and the front- 
iersmen heard the sound of approaching conflict. The busi- 
ness at the old ferry up to this time had been steadily increasing; 
but it entirely ceased at the commencement of actual hostili- 
ties. There had been considerable emigration into Canada, 
as I have had on asion to remark. The large four-horse 
wagons with then singular loads had been accustomed visitors 


at the ferry. There had been frequent crossing to deal at 
Douglas' store at Port Erie; at which place the settlers bought 
their glass and nails. On the whole, the ferrymen at the Black 
Rock had been greatly benefited, and were rejoicing in grow- 
ing profits. 

A store or grocery had been established, and there were 
other shops at the Rock; and among others who had found 
their way to the place was Mr. K. I). Efner," to whom you will 
need no introduction. General Sylvester Mathews, a well- 
known man here twenty-five years ago, and Loren Hodge and 
his father resided once at the old ferry. 

Fifty years have passed, and the mutability of earthly things 
receives a forcible illustration in the changes at this place. 
The canal has obliterated the famous black rock; the railroad 
runs over the site of the old ferry house and tavern; and the 
pier cuts in twain the river which had unfolded its regal ampli- 
tude between the opposing shores. Squaw Island, once heavily 
wooded and full of game, now denuded of its forest glories, 
spreads upon the river a patch of unsightly meadow swamp 
land; Bird Island has quite gone out of sight; old Fort Erie 
is a mouldering ruin; and the only improvement upon the scene 
is the flourishing commercial city to whose history this contri- 
bution is made. 

This paper shall be closed before the^time is entirely ex- 
hausted, by recounting the further history of the old ferry from 
the memoranda of Mr. Lester Brace. 

.In 1813, to use an expression then prevalent, the "lines were 
opened," that is, it had become safe for Americans to venture 
upon'business along the river; and Mr. Brace and Mr. St. John, 
who is represented in this city by numerous descendants, 
thought that something could be done with the ferry. They 
bought Hardison's boats and resumed the [business of carriers 
between Canada and the Black Hock,* Tl\£ renewed business 

* Mr. Kfncrdicd, Jul} 4th, 1873. 


was inaugurated by a sad catastrophe, which awakened the 
sympathy of the settlers both at Buffalo and the Rock. On 
the sixth of June, 1S13, the morning being clear and cold, 
with the ice running in the river, Mr. Brace, with Mr. St. John, 
to whom the management of the boat was intrusted as the more 
skillful navigator, started from the Rock to cross the river. The 
boat was a scow, of about ten tons burthen, propelled by sweeps 
handled by two or four men, and steered with another long 
sweep at the stern. The route was to cross the stream directly, 
as nearly as it could be done, and to drop down to the wharf 
which was at the present ferry landing. Sometimes this was 
difficult to accomplish, particularly when ice was running in 
the river; and the ferrymen were carried down to a point near or 
opposite to Squaw Island, and then they were obliged to cross 
and pole up the river to the Black Rock, a laborious and very 
wearisome task. Two or three of Commodore Perry's vessels 
which had been fitted out by Henry Eoteford at the mouth of 
the Scoijoiquoides creek, had made an attempt to get up the 
Niagara into the lake to join the squadron, but had been 
obliged to cast anchor in the very path of the ferry boat. The 
ferryman had been advised that it would be a venturesome busi- 
ness to attempt to go above the vessels in order to reach the Can- 
ada landing; but Mr. St. John, relying on his skill as a boatman, 
and his knowledge of the river, said that he could accomplish 
it without collision. He had not overrated his knowledge or 
his skill, but an unforseen danger presented itself which was 
discovered too late to be avoided. The ferry boat would have 
cleared the foremost vessel, but it was driven upon the cable 
which held her at anchor, and the play of the cable as it rose 
and fell with the motion of the vessel upset the ferry boat and 
turned the whole party into the river. The boats of the ship 
nearest them had gone to Buffalo creek, and the party, which 
consisted of Mr. Brace ;jjh1 Mr. St* John and his son. four sol- 
diers and four other passengers, one o( them having a horse 
with him, were in imminent danger of drowning. Mr. St. 


John went down, but rose again and spoke encouraging words 
to Mr. Brace, putting his hand on his shoulder at the same 
time; but suddenly sank, and did not rise again. His son, a 
fine, athletic young man, had nearly reached shallow water when 
he disappeared; and Mr. Brace grasped a board which floated 
near him, by means of which his life was saved. 

There was another incident which is worthy of preservation. 
One day there came to the ferry a number of villagers from 
Buffalo who desired to cross to Canada. Doctor Josiah Trow- 
bridge and Mr. Bemis were of the company. It was a cold 
December day, and Mr. Brace was averse to crossing; for he 
was unwell, and there had been rumors which, if true, rendered 
a visit to the other side somewhat hazardous. Dr. Trowbridge 
was quite urgent, however, for- his business on the Canada 
shore was impelled by the same motive which induced Leander 
to swim the Hellespont. Mr. Brace saw the white flag flying 
on the Canada side, and after some hesitation, consented to 
allow his brother-in-law, Arden Merrill, to take his place in 
the boat, and ferry the travelers to the other shore. As the 
ferry boat approached the Canada landing, two or three sleighs 
filled with men were observed to be approaching from below: 
but the matter excited neither alarm nor suspicion. The pas- 
sengers had hardly landed, when they were seized as prisoners. 
with the exception of Dr. Trowbridge and Mr. Pomeroy, who 
escaped to the woods. The British party then fired into the 
boat, alreadv out in the river. Merrill was killed; his body, 
stripped of boots and watch, was afterward recovered under a 
flag of truce. ( )ne of the passengers was never afterward heard 
of; another was taken prisoner, and subsequently released at 
Halifax. Dr. Trowbridge and his companions found their way 
to Baxter's, six miles above the ferry, and there seized upon a 
boat against the remonstrance of the proprietor, who was not dis- 
posed to aid their escape, and got safely ba\*k to Buffalo Creek. 

This was a most unprovoked and unjustifiable outrage; not 
the onlv one perpetrated by the enemy during that war. The 


people on the ferry boat had trusted to the white flag flying at 
the ferry landing; and even if they had come over without that 
protection, they were unarmed, and might have been made 
prisoners without loss of life. 

The ferry was then discontinued, and the boats sunk at the 
mouth of the Scoijoiquoides creek; from which they were taken 
by the British in one of their marauding excursions, and carried 
over to Canada. They were retaken by our army and used 
for government purposes. Mr. Brace found them in posses- 
sion of Major Barton, United States Quartermaster; who re- 
fused to deliver them to him upon the ground that they had 
been captured from the enemy and were the property of the 
government. Mr. Brace, not caring to dispute the Quarter- 
master's law, paid one hundred dollars to get them again, and 
in 1815, on the declaration of peace, opened his tavern, resumed 
his ferry, and continued there until 1821. 

That he had been prospered in his business appears from 
the net income of his tavern and ferry in 18 13, which wa> 
three thousand dollars. For a number of years it continued 
to yield a handsome revenue; larger upon an average than has 
since been derived from it. 

Among the persons who boarded with Mr. Brace, at the old 
ferry, was Captain James Rough, a Scotchman by birth, and a 
sailor by profession. He was one of the earliest navigators of 
the western lakes, and had been in the employ of John Jacob 
Astor when he had a fur trading house at Mackinac. He died 
at Black Rock at an advanced age, and is buried in the old 
Guide Board Road cemetery.* His friend. Major Donald 
Vraser, placed at the head of his grave a small willow, which has 
since grown to be a large tree, and the inscription on his tomb 
closes with the lines of Hums: 

With such as he, where'er he he, 

May I ho >a\eil or rtarane/t.f 

*See /.'.7//<//c (\iu,t t r:\-s, ante, i>. ;;. 
< See //•/./. p. 57. f.-r the lull iincriptim 


In 1 82 1, the ferry was transferred to Asa Stannard, the father 
of a race of sons, some of whom became identified with our lake 
marine, and were well known to the dork merchants of an early 
day. The present Member of Assembly, from the first district, 
Walter W. Stannard, is a son of Asa Stannard. 

In .1822 or 1824, the old ferry ceased to have legal existence. 
The act authorizing the lease to Stannard provided, that if the 
ferry was "injured by the construction of the Great Western 
Canal," Stannard should be compensated for improvements, but 
not for loss of profits. The same act gave Stannard an exten- 
sion of the lease, if he would build a horse-boat for the purpose 
of ferriage. But Mr. Stannard did not build the boat which 
the Legislature had contemplated. He continued to use the 
scow, rowed by four men with two oars, and to cross at the old 
place, until the construction of the Erie Canal rendered it 
necessary to remove the ferry to another point. So, in 1824, 
the old ferry, which had for so long a time been a place of 
such importance, and which had already assumed the appear- 
ance of a village, was deserted. The great rock, the landmark 
which had become known to all the settlers on this part of the 
Holland Purchase, and to all travelers on the river, was blown 
up; the old road was neglected, and became impassable; the 
houses gradually fell into ruin; and to-day there is nothing on 
the spot to indicate its former existence. 

The ferry was removed to a point of land at the foot of what 
is now Ferry street, on the south line of the ferry lot; and in 
1826, Donald Fraser and Lester Brace became its lessees; but 
the rapid march of invention and improvement rendered it 
necessary that the old scow ferry boat should give way to a 
more rapid method of propulsion, and Brace and Fraser were 
bound to put upon the river, within one year, a steam or horse- 

If it were within the scope of my sul>jt*:t, it would be a 
pleasant duty to give ROfne reminiscences of Donald Fraser, 
Me had witnessed different vicissitudes oi fortune, and had 


survived them all, without losing that exuberant good nature 
which was a remarkable quality in his character. From his 
early youth he was a courageous and gallant soldier. He had 
been aid to General Pike at the siege and conquest of Little- 
York (now Toronto), and was with him when he fell, on that 
memorable occasion; and at the sortie of Fort Erie, as aid 
to General Porter, when his gallantry and soldierly conduct 
received the most flattering notice in the despatches of the 
General to the Commander-in-chief. Major Fraser was after- 
ward on the staff of General Brown; subsequently he served 
at Fort Niagara; and at a later period he acted as secretary to 
General Porter, while he was engaged as the United States 
Commissioner in surveying and establishing the northern boun- 
dary between the United States and Canada, under the treaty 
of Ghent. He was a Scotchman, a member of a celebrated 
clan, and full of genial and generous feeling toward all man- 
kind. His ferry house and store was a museum of curiosities. 
At the door, the public was informed that "folks are married 
here;" and the place was fdled with articles, the most of which 
were unsaleable, presenting, withal, a ludicrous yet remarka- 
ble collection of odd things. In the strictest sense of the word, 
it was a curiosity shop. The resident of thirty years ago will 
recollect his sleigh-rides in a bark canoe, mounted on runners, 
with a stuffed deer standing at the prow, and ten or twelve 
men, habited in Indian costume, paddling furiously as they 
dashed through the streets at the full speed of four horses 
ridden by four impromptu savages. After the death of Captain 
Rough, Fraser disguised himself, and calling upon the promi- 
'nent citizens of the village, represented that he was the sole 
heir of the deceased, just arrived from Scotland. So successful 
was the disguise, in every respect, and his claims were appar- 
ently so well founded and sustained, that no question was made 
about his taking possession of the estate, which was consider- 
able; and he wenfaround among his friends and acquaintances, 
the acknowledged heir n\ Captain Rough, arid the recognized 


owner of his late estate. A paper might be filled with reminis- 
cences of this singular man, but space can be allowed here 
only to say, that after his removal from .Black Rock, he was in 
the army as Quartermaster; and died a few years ago, an officer 
at the New York Custom House. 

Messrs. Brace and Fraser placed the horse-boat on the river; 
Mr. Brace making the journey to Albany to ascertain what 
were the merits of the novel invention winch the Legislature 
required the ferry lessees to adopt;, and he brought back the 
machinery for his boat. It was nothing more than a wheel up- 
on a horizontal plane, propelling the boat by means of cogs 
playing into the main shaft; four horses treading the wheel, 
being the propelling power. It was a great invention for those 
time?, and was the second boat of the kind ever used in this 

In 1840, James Haggart became the lessee of the ferry, and 
the successor of Brace and Fraser, and placed a steam ferry 
boat on the river, in accordance with the provisions of an act 
of the Legislature, granting to him the right to maintain a ferry. 
Judge Bull, of Black Rock, became a part owner of the ferry, 
and now owns the land on the American shore opposite the 
ferry landing. The rent was two hundred dollars per year, 
payable to the common school fund of Black Rock: and in 
1853, the State granted to the City of Buffalo exclusive power 
over all ferries within its limits, with the right to license and 
regulate the same. 

An apology is due to you for this paper, upon a subject so 
dry a'nd uninteresting; but as the history of our city will neces- 
sarily require some mention of ''The Old Kerry," it is not be- 
yond the province of the Historical Society to gather and pre- 
serve the fragments contained in this attempt to trace it- origin 
and historv. " ■ 



BCFFALO, Friday. February ijth, iSt 

Hox. M. Fillmore, 

President, &c. 
Dear Sik: — A severe cold prevents me from attending the Historical Society Club to- 
night. I enclose the draft of some notes upon the origin of the name of Black Rock, which. 
if you deem proper, may be read to the Club, with a view to provoke discussion. My ex- 
amination of the subject has not been thorough, for the want of leisure and books. I have 
looked into but few authors, and Doctor Dwight is the only one that has furnished much 
support to the theory wbich I broached at Mr. Norton's two weeks ago. There are other 
authorities, however, which 1 hope to be able to cite hereafter. 

I am, with esteem, your obedient servant, 

George R. Babcoce. 
P. S. — Upon another point, allow me to call your attention to the fact, that in the act of 
our Legislature, parsed March ioth, 1802, for holding a treaty with the Senecas, Buffalo 
creek is called " Buffaloes creek."' This, to me, is new. B. 

Many years since, the idea was suggested to me, by reading a journal of 
an early French explorer of the lakes, that Bird Island, at the head *f the 
Xiagara, was called Black Rock, and gave this name to the adjoining shore. 
Subsequent reading elicited facts that favored this theory, but I have pre- 
served no notes of them; and since the subject was before the Historical 
Society Club, the little attention that T have been able to give to it has failed 
to reveal the original authority for the idea. According to my recollection 
of the narrative, the craft of the writer was driven by stress of weather to a 
shelter, at the foot of the lake, behind a black rock, of >mall extent and slight 
elevation, which afforded protection from the waves. It occurred to me that 
he had anchored under the lee of bird Island, which at that period, ami 
within the recollection of many of our citizens, was a bare, black rock, suffi- 
ciently above the water to aiford shelter for vessels in the deep channel be- 
tween it and the American shore; and that this "black rock," being the 
only harbor at this end of the lake, and, therefore, an object of interest to 
the early voyagers, gave name to the locality, rather than the bare rock upon 
the main shore, nearly a mile below. 'Idle latter was an object o( interest 
to the Indian as a place for fishing, and, subsequently, to the white settlers, 
as the ferrying-place: but to the traders and voyagers, who for more than 
one hundred years followed the (biffin's track, the black rock upon the 
main land was of no importance whatever. It seemed to me not improba- 
ble, therefore, that the island bore the name of the black Rock among the 
whites, prior to the formation of settlements upon the main land; ami that 
afterwards the name was transferred to die rock, which was known among 
the Indians as the "fishing rock," and to the whites as the "fern rock," 

* Died, September 226!, T076. 

1 See Papers mi tin- N inic of Buffalo, ante, pp. 17 -»-'• 

ADD EX DA. ill 

or ferrying-place. The question is not important, and I confer that the 
evidence to sustain this theory is not conclusive. President Dwight, in the 
fourth volume of his travels, records a visit to this place which he made in 
1S04. Speaking of the Mile Strip along the Niagara river, he says: 
"Within the Reservation is included the ground opposite to Black Rock." — /. 55. 

Referring to the mouth of Buffalo creek, he says: 

" The river Niagara begins two miles further north, at, or rather just below, Black R< ck. 
Here the first perceptible current commences. At Black Rock, a town which is a mile 
square is laid out by order of the State into house lots. The lots are to be disposed of at 
public sale in December of this year, upon terms with which I am unacquainted. Should 
they b^ equitable, the trade which 1 mentioned will soon center here. Between this rock, 
and the shore is the only secure harbor on the American, and a much better than any on 
the British side of the lake, within a great distance."—/. 57. 

Speaking of harbors on Lake Erie, he says: 

"On the southern side I know of but three; Black Rock, Presque Isle and Sandusky 

Bird Island will answer the various conditions required by these extracts, 
and no point on the main land will meet them. It would be absurd to speak 
of any point upon the Mile Strip as "opposite to Black Rock,'* and yet lo- 
cate Black Rock on the Mile Strip. It will not do to say that the Niagara 
river begins "just below Black Rock," ami that here the " first perceptible 
current commences," and yet locate Black Rock at the old ferry site. The 
town of Black Rock, it is true, is laid out on the main land, "opposite to 
Black Rock;" and the trade spoken of is expected to center there, because 
of the "secure harbor * * * between this rock and the shore." 

Black Rock is one of the three harbors on the southern side of the lake, 
known to the President. In this connection, it may not be amiss to refer 
to Cieddes' report of a survey for a canal between Lakes Erie and Ontario, 
made in 1S09. He speaks of the "exceedingly safe ami excellent harbor 
formed by Bird Island and the reef;" and of the "upper and lower store- 
houses at Black Rock;" the former of which, a stone building sixty-four by 
forty-four feet, built in iSdS, he distinctly locates on the north-east corner 
of Bird Island. He further says: 

" There is no place on the main shore where a wharf can be built, so that a vessel can 
lay her side to and load." 

This would seem to lix the ""harbor" of Black Rock at the island. It is, 

undoubtedly, true, that since the first settlement of the shores o{ the river 

by the whites, the name of Black Rock hns been uniformly applied to the 

main land and not to the island. 


"BLACK Rock," I assume, took its name from the ferrying-place, and 1 
offer the following reasons and concurring circumstances for this belief. 


The ferry at this place seems to have been used from the very earliest settle- 
ment of the country, and it was the only place to cross the Niagara river 
above the Falls. The landing on the United States shore was at the base oi 
the broad surface of a black, corniferous limestone rock, extending along the 
.shore some two or three hundred feet, and having a width of from fifty to 
eighty feet — its lower end extending from the shore, nearly at right angles, 
some three or four feet above the water; making an eddy below, and a con- 
venient place for ferry boats to load and unload. This rock was a celebrated 
fishing place, where it was not unusual to find forty or fifty Indians at a time, 
fishing. The point was known as the loiocr reef or rapids, the upper reef 
being opposite to where Fort Porter now is. 

This ferry was occupied and run by persons on the Canada shore previous 
to 1S04; after which time it was leased by this State for several years; and 
in all the leases it was provided that the Indians should pass /><v, as had 
been agreed in the treaty with them. 

Mr. Van Rensselaer, long in the Engineer and Surveyor's office, Albany, 
and who is more familiar with the papers and records in that office than any 
other person there, writes to me as follows: 

"On the original map of the lands laid out along the Niagara river, made by Joseph A11- 
nin in 1803, there is vacant ground on the river, say live hundred and forty acres; marked 
thereon, was a ' house' and a l rock' on the shore, and written in black ink, in small letter-. 
4 Black Rock,' indicating, to my mind, that there was a rock at that place. 

" I have examined the proposed plan for a village at Black Rock, directed by the Legis- 
lature, by the act pa-sed April nth, 1804, and now in the Surveyor (leneral's office. At 
the foot of Hampshire street, on the shore of the lake, is written in small figures, ' Black 
Rock.' I find no indications, except what is designated on the map in the public offices, 
and nothing on the minutes of the land office." 

I have looked into Spafford's and Gordon's Gazetteers, and 1 find nothing 
in relation to the origin of the name; but have found the following in French's 
Gazetteer, published in 1S60: 

" Black Reck receive- it- name from the color of the rock which Ctt>ps out at the ferry 

Doctor Cooper, a very intelligent and scientific trawler, in his journal of 
a visit to Niagara, in 1809, goes from I.andoitV, in Buffalo, "three miles to 
Miller's ferry, along the bank- of Lake Erie.* lie says: 

*' The ride along the Niagara is beautiful; the country, well -ettled. In fact, it may lie 
regarded as a continued village from the ferry, opposite Black Rock, for thirty-three or 
thirty-four mile-, down to Newark." 

W'c know thai in all new settlements, town- and villages get a name from 
some trifle which marks the locality; as the "big tree," ** cold spring," 
** horse-heads," "cross-roads," &c; >o it Is reasonable to believe. — in leitt, 
the conviction isnlmosl irresistible,— that the village of Hlack Rock derived 
its name from the black rock at the ferrying-place. 

a: ::val all 






JASCAKT 2ft : 


In : fa e - r ■: . : ion c : : he - pc : r to-night, 1 
ical SocieT e in view the Annual Festival of thr 

7 lents md do i inicd 

orelaboni.r H _ ieen a collector ot 

anti«{ . e : Sc I icracac mt for I 

. i not been so much a c: their 

collet. ramble ind other 


H - - sties are cm rai ng i thi 

turie-. and gi _ all prr» ate 

owner- i For my o. 

better eventual dcsl I am Laboring fcr if not 

with thee. . . i air to be consigned to 

their arch es . _ . »t the 

latin- A 

~. i> Ifo^. sumI Time T> ^K l W g. 

ioAciI •ini-n- ait totaling; 
Funeral march _ 

114 A A A 'UAL A DDRE SS B V 77/ E 

The Historical Society of this city is the natural depositors 
of the relics of the past; and it is to be hoped that our citizens- 
will remember this in their testamentary dispositions, if not 

From any formal or lengthy discussion of historical topics, I am 
excused, not only by the occasion, but by the exhaustive labors 
of my predecessors. Who would care to enter upon the early 
exploration of the region about Lake Erie by the Jesuits and 
their associates who traversed the wilderness, while the first 
settlements in New England were yet in their infancy, after the 
able dissertation of O. H. Marshall? Who would venture upon 
the early history of Western New York after the elaborate his- 
tory in which William Ketchum has made us familiar with its 
Indian tribes, treaties and councils ? Of the war of 1S12 and 
the destruction of Buffalo, what remains to be said? The 
burnings and murders of that time, the flight of the population, 
the barbarities of the British and their savage allies are as 
familiar as household words. 

And what more can be said as to that vexed question, why 
Buffalo was called "Buffalo;" whether the great bison of the 
West, extending his visits to this locality, gave us the name, 
or the multitude of bass-wood trees found here described 
in the Indian tongue by a word resembling our cognomen,. 
came to designate the Place of Bass-wood? If Buffalo means 
soft timber, we have enough of that yet to fully justify its 
appropriateness. If it means the hard-headed representative 
of the western prairies, who monopolizes the best pastures 
and takes possession of every oasis in the great North Ameri- 
can Desert, we have his likeness still, and may congratulate 
ourselves that in either case the name of the Queen City oi the 
Lakes is sufficiently significant of portions of its population. 

Besides, the very able and flattering reminiscences of many 01" 
our old citizens which have appeared in the papers of the buf- 
falo Historical Society, would prevent my attempting the formal 
biography <>!" any one departed magnate, were it not forbidden 

REV. JOHX C. LORD, D. D. 115 

by the character of the occasion which calls us together, and 
the general and reasonable expectation of free sketches of the 
past, in which may be mingled the grave and the gay, as rather 
suitable for this Annual Old Settlers' Festival, already assum- 
ing the importance of a permanent institution. 

I shall go back to the period of my first knowledge of Buf- 
falo, and mainly confine your attention to the year 1825, mem- 
orable for the completion of the great Erie Canal, the visit of 
La Fayette, the dedication of " Ararat" by Mordecai Manuel 
Noah, and the execution of the three Thayers for the murder 
of John Love. 

Perhaps the completion of the Erie Canal may be con- 
sidered the great event of the first half of the nineteenth 
century. It is now almost forgotten that this magnificent un- 
dertaking was bitterly opposed by a large party usually domi- 
nant in the State; that the city of New York, which it has made 
the centre of the trade of the New World, was, with a charac- 
teristic stupidity, generally hostile to "Clinton's big ditch," as its 
citizens facetiously termed it; and that nothing but the genius 
and energy of the great statesman who projected it, and the 
completion and use of the long level west of Utica, when unbe- 
lievers who maintained that it would never hold water, were 
made to see boats afloat, could ever have secured the comple- 
tion of the greatest work of the age. 

The reception of General La Fayette was a great event for 
Buffalo. The old veteran stood upon a platform in front of 
the Eagle Tavern,* and. the crowds assembled from the sur- 
rounding country passed him in single file, each person taking 
him'by the hand. The largest battle of the Revolution in which 
he was engaged, could not have resulted in greater fatigue to 
the old hero than the hand-shaking of that day. 

I saw the foundation of "Ararat" laid, not on Grand Island. 

•Situated mi Van Staphorst avenue (Main street), west side, just south itf Caxennvia 
avenue lOmn >trcct. » The '* eagle " vvhii h held it^ place tor -.,. warn > «^ r»ver the duo r 
• if this celebrated inn. and cave it it^ name now spreads it> win-- n\er the United States 
department in the library < t t!i<- S iciety.— Eu. 

1 1 6 A i\\\ T L 'A L A DDR ESS B V THE 

but in St. Paul's church, with a strange mixture of Hebrew and 
Christian rites, a curious commingling of Jew and Gentile. 
There was Major Noah, with his Hebrew chorister and ritual, 
dedicating Grand Island as a City of Refuge for the scattered 
people who rejected Christ; and by his side an Episcopal rec- 
tor in full canonicals, uttering a Christian benediction. Ara- 
rat came to nothing, and the only memorial of this City of Ref- 
uge which remains is the corner-stone, all there ever was of it, 
which, owing to the efforts of the Hon. Lewis F. Allen, has 
been deposited in the rooms of the Historical Society of 

Still giving our attention to this memorable year, we have to 
note the leading men of that time resident in Buffalo: — our ora- 
tors, statesmen and poets; our clergymen, schoolmasters, doc- 
tors and lawyers; our beaus, bon-vivants and wits. Perhaps it 
will be said: "This is rather a grandiloquent catalogue for a 
western village in 182s." But is not everv village a world in 
miniature, and especially such a precocious town as Buffalo: 
always anticipating its coming greatness; always blowing its 
horn in the face of mankind; always counting, Chicago fashion, 
three or four for every two of its population! 

Buffalo, in 1825, published to the world in general, and par- 
ticularly and pugnaciously thrust into the face of Black Ruck, 
with whom we waged a deadly war, a census of two thousand 
four hundred souls. Possibly there may have been a popula- 
tion approximating to two thousand: but the most ambitious, 
restless, pugnacious, egotistic people in the State of New York; 
and withal, abounding in men of great enterprise and ability. 
Surely among such a population, our catalogue need not be 
considered a joke, or even an exaggeration, seeing that in little 
more than fifty vears, a noble city of more than one hundred 
thousand inhabitants, of which these men were the fathers and 
founders, bears witness that there wciV "giants" here in those 
davs, — men of renown, who have left their mark for all time 
on the shores of Lake Krie. 

REV. JOHN C. LORD, D. D. 117 

But it may be anxiously inquired, how can you bring your 
numerous classes within the compass of an Address which 
ought not to exceed thirty or forty minutes ? I reply, that as 
one of the standing orators for the Old Folks' Festival, 1 wish 
to lay out work for several years for myself and associates, and 
this Address is but an exordium. I do not intend to imitate the 
example of that long-winded Scotch Presbyterian, who, being 
called on to preach before the Vermont Legislature, stated, 
after an introduction which occupied an hour, that he should 
consider the remainder of his subject under nineteen particu- 
lars; upon which intimation his appalled audience rose and left 
htm to discourse to vacant seats. I engage to touch lightly 
upon a few points, reserving the nineteenaparticulars for future 
anniversaries and other orators, who cannot fail to be grateful 
for the large and exhaustless held I have opened up before them. 

It will not be deemed inappropriate to commence with our 
pedagogues. The ki schoolmaster was abroad" in Buffalo, in 
1825; and in the school work of that year, I may say with 
.-Eneas, " Magna pars fui." The two teachers best known to 
myself were Millard Fillmore and John C. Lord. ■ Mr. Fill- 
more's work in this interesting field had ceased before mine 
began; but knowing many of his pupils, and being particularly 
interested in one of them, I consider myself at liberty to refer 
to his labors as a teacher of the young idea. 

Mr. Fillmore was engaged in this vocation at the Cold Spring, 
near Buffalo,* and also in the village proper, in the old Mullett 
house, then standing near the corner of Main and Genesee 
streets. He ''boarded round," at least a part of the time, and 
was "well thought of." Indeed, he was considered so "likely 
a young man " among the old folks, that it was suggested by 
some that he would yet come to be a justice of the Peace, while 
others did not think the Assembly Chamber of Albany beyond 
the reach of his endeavors. * 

* Iwn miles north of the village center. 


I cannot of my knowledge speak of his success, in general, 
as a teacher; but having had one of his pupils, a daughter of the 
late Dr. Ebenezer Johnson, afterwards under my care, under 
a special covenant to honor and obey, I have been led to believe 
that Mr. Fillmore's discipline was not what it should have been. 
Yet this same village schoolmaster succeeded in after life in 
the government of a great nation, which esteemed him a saga- 
cious President and successful Chief Magistrate, of whom it 
can only be said that he is not the first of the notable rulers of 
men who was yet unable to govern a woman. One proof I can 
produce of the intellectual progress of his pupils, in the poetic 
effusion of one of his scholars, which, if unequal to Gray's Elegy, 
is sufficiently striking and unique to deserve a record in the 
Historical Society of Buffalo. This poem details the fate of o 
young man, suddenly cut off in the prime of life: — probably 
one of the boys who enjoyed the instruction of our distin- 
guished townsman. 

This brilliant effusion is "owned to" by one of Mr. Fill- 
more's pupils, and presented to the singing meeting in the 
New England Kitchen,* where it has been read with great ap- 
probation. Here it is: 



One Calib Dulittle was his name. 
Who lately to this village came, 
Residing ni his brother Jeemes, 
Last Friday noon went out, it seems, 

To cut sum timber for a sled. 

The sno being deep, he had to wade 

Full 40 rod to a ash tree. 

The too being drv, as ton mav sec. 

* A .livtin jtHshms feature ..t" th<: OKI Settlers' Festival, presided over ami cnmiti 
Mr-. Dr. 1,„,|. 

REV. JOHX C. LORD, D. D. 119 

Our Calih swung his ax on hi, 
And thro the air he let it fly; 
His work he thot was nearly done, 
For it was now ni sit of sun. 

The tree was holler at the coar, 
And when it come a tumblin ore 
It hit poor Gale upon the hed, 
And he was tookin up for dec!. 

Remarkable was soon distrest 
While Thankful, she wqrt in his bre>t, 
Xo tongue can tell how MERCY felt 
While on his shockin deth she dwelt. 

Oh, cruel fate, thou wast unkind 
To take our Cafe and leave us hind, 
For Calib was our rite han man. 
And worker of our good farm land. 

And when that tre it killed him ded, 
It nocked our prospiks in the hed, 
And laid him in the churchyard bed, 
While on his body worms is fed. 

Xow, skollar>, all a warnin take, 
How Calib Dulittle met his fate, 
And when you have a sled to make, 
Don't let a tre fall on your pate. 

Of the merits of John C. Lord, as schoolmaster, and of his 
select school, which was located in one of the Old Court House 
rooms, in the winter of 1^2^-26, 1 am too modest to speak. 
We had a liberal rsmge of study from Webster's Spelling Hook 
up 'to the French and Roman classics; but as several of our 
professional and literary notables, such as Dr. White ami O. H. 
Marshall, Esq., were among the pupils, it may yet be hoped 
that " Papers" on this interesting topic may be read before the 

Historical Society. 


I shall only refer to an extract from a New Year's Poem. 
published on the hist of January, [826, in the Buffalo fountain 


of which David M. Day was the publisher, which poetic effu- 
sion, of my positive knowledge, came out of that schoolroom; 
and I shall quote only what relates to the affairs of 1825 and its 
remarkable events. 

* * * * % * * 


Let despots mock the joy with which we met 
Upon our shores our fathers' friend and son, 

And greeted him — the gallant La Fayette. 
Dare they insult the flag that bore him home? 

No ! Europe never will again forget 
The due respect and proper courtesy 
Columbia's Banner claims upon the sea. 

■ VIII. 

My Muse wants breathing, she is too sublime 
For modern ears; 't were well to take good care 

Lest criticks ridicule her lofty rhyme — 
Which would indeed be a most sad affair. 

We'll lower our strain then, and devote a line 
To home concerns. 'T is said that Huffalo 
Is soon to be a city, and I know — 


No reason why she should not. The foundation 
Of Ararat we lately helped to ii\ 

And have had other public celebrations 
(According to my note-book sixty-six,^) 

And have a right to make our calculations 
On future greatness. There is something pretty 
And quite harmonious in the name of "city." 


The year hath been to us a Jubilee, 
A year of great rejoicing; we have seen 

Lake Frie's waters moving to the Sua 
On their own element. The, bark 1 deem 

Which bore our j;ift, more famous yet shall be. 
Than that proud ship in which to ancient Greece 
The intrepid law mi bore the (Joldeii Fleece. 

REV. JOHN C. LORD, D. D. .121 


Vet boast we not of mighty labors clone 
In our own strength or wisdom; we would bless 

His sacred name in morning orison, 
Who stamped his footstep on the wilderness; 

And towns and cities rose, — the busy hum 
Of congregated man, where erst HE viewed 
One dark and boundless solitude. 


And the white sail now gliste-ns on the Lake, 
Where late the Indian in his bark canoe, 

Bursting from some low marsh or tangled brake, 
Shot forth upon the waters joyously, 

Perchance his annual hunting tour to make, 
Where since the cultivated held, I ween, 
That savage mariner himself hath seen. 

I dare not compare this poem with that inimitable effusion 
of Mr. Fillmore's pupil; and outside of their respective merits 
there are two reasons for my forbearance; one is, that my com- 
petitor is a lady; and the second is, that the aforesaid lady has 
it in her power greatly to annoy me if I should be so unfortu- 
nate as to awaken her indignation. Let her wear the laurel 
crown, so there be domestic tranquillity — peace at the hearth. 

While on the subject of poetry, that remarkable ballad on 
the murder of John Love which appeared in the same year 
ought not to be omitted. It should be preserved, like a fly 
in amber, in the archives of the Buffalo Historical Society. 
Whether it was the production of any of the pupils who at- 
tended the schools before referred to I cannot say. It has been 
claimed by the town of Boston, but I think it belongs to Buffalo. 

As the cities of Greece contended for the birthplace of 
Homer, so it may hereafter happen to Boston and Buffalo to 
contend for the honor of the nativity of the immortal poet who 
sang the dreadful fate of John Love and t,he crime oi the three 
Thayers, who were executed in this city, June 17th. 1825. 1 have 
had surmises that one of my own pupils might possibly have 


been the author of this lamentable ballad, but I will not pros 
the claim, as my friend Fillmore may contend with- justice that 
this mournful ditty was quite as likely to have issued from his 
school as mine. I read it as a reminiscence of the year 1825, 
and for the purpose of putting it upon record in the Historical 


In England some years ago 

the sun was pleasant fair and gay 

Juhn Love on board of a ship he entered 
and said in to america. 

Love was a man very percevering 

in making trades with all he see 
he soon engaged to he a sailor 
to sail up and down on Lake Eri. 

he then went into the Southern countries, 

to trade for furs and other skins 
but the cruel French and saveg Indians 

came very near of killing him. 

But God did spare him a little longer 

he got his loding and came down the lake 

he went into the town of boston, 
Where he made the grate mistake. 

With Nelson Thayer he made his station 

th'rue the summer for to stay 
Nelson had two brothers Isaac and Israel 

love lent them money for thare debts to pay 

Love lent them quite a sum of money 

he did befriend them every way 
but the cruel cretrfes tha eouldent be quiet 

till they had taken his sweet life away 

One tin as tha were all three together 


this dreadful murder tha did contrive 

tha agreed to kill Love and keep it secret 
ami then to live and spend thare lives 

REV. JOHX C. LORD, I). J). 123 

On the fifteenth evening of la>t december 

in eighteen hundred and twenty four 
tha invited Love to go home with them 

and they killed and murdered him on the floor 

First Isaac with his gun he shot him 

he left his gun and went away 
Then nelson with his ax he chopt him 

till he had no life that he could perceive 

After tha had killed and most mortly brus'd him 
tha draw'd him out whare tha killed thare hogs 

tha then carried him of a pease from the hou.^e 
and deposited him down by a log 

The next day tha ware so very bold 

tha had loves horses riding round 
Some asked the reason of Loves being absent 

tha said he had clerd and left the town 

tha said he had forged in the town of Kri 

the sheriff was in pursuit of him 
He left the place and run aw a 

and left his debts to collect by them 

tha went and forgd a power of turney 

to collect loves notes when they ware due 
tha tore and stormed to git thare pay 

and sevrl nafoors they did sue 

After they had run to a high degree 

in killing love and forgery 
tha soon were taken and put in prison 

whare tha remained for thare cruelty 

Tha were bound in iron** in the dark ilungon 

for to remain for a little time 
tha ware all eondenul by the grand jury 

for this mOAt foul and dreadful crime 

Then the fudge pronounced* thare dreadful sentence 

with grate canditlness to behold 
you must be hanged untell your iletl 

and hud have mur-ev on vour >ol>. 


But enough has been said of the poets and poetry of Buffalo 
in 1825. I shall defer the pathetic narrative of the shipwreck 
of the canal boat Medora to a future occasion. 

Passing from these light topics, will not the audience accept 
a graver theme, in brief sketches of the clergymen of Buffalo, 
in the year of our Lord 1825, of whom it may be truly said that 
they would lose nothing by comparison with their successors in 
1867. The leading denominations were represented here in 
1825, each by a single church. The first regularly settled clergy- 
man was the Rev. Miles P. Squier, in the First Presbyterian 
Congregation. He was an educated man, not without good 
points, but with an overweening self appreciation, which, while 
it gave offence to some, was to the major part of his acquaint- 
ance a source of amusement. He could not have exhibited a 
greater dignity of deportment had he been Bishop of Rome or 
Czar of all the Russias, and resembled the man described by- 
Coleridge who always took off his hat when he spoke of him- 
self. He would have shaken hands with Andrew Jackson or 
George the Fourth, with the patronizing and condescending 
air of one conferring a great favor. In the latter years of his 
life he wrote a book on the "Origin of Evil," in which, I have 
no doubt, he imagined he had mastered this intricate subject, 
untied the Gordian knot in theology, and left nothing further to 
be said or desired on the topic. lie was a worthy man and a 
sincere Christian, notwithstanding his eccentricities, and is re- 
membered with affection by some of our old residents. The 
successor of Mr. Squier was the Rev. Gilbert Crawford. 1 be- 
came acquainted with him and attended his services in 1825. 
He was a Scotchman, and had had the advantage of the admir- 
able training of the time-honored and witness-bearing church 
of his fathers. Though tenacious of the five points of Calvin- 
ism, and in the beginning of his ministry inclined to limit the 
entrance of the Way of Fife to Presbyterians o\ the bluest cast. 
yet with time and experience he became tolerant and catholic 
in his judgments of those who "cast out devils" under other 

REV, JOHN C. LORD, D. D. 125 

symbols than the Assembly's Catechism. Mr. Crawford was 
one of the ablest preachers ever settled in Western New York. 
He was of a more ardent nature than is usual with his country- 
men, and was at times a model of pulpit eloquence, moving 
all hearts with his vehement and passionate oratory. 

Though Gilbert Crawford has long rested from his labors, 
yet his memory is green in the hearts of multitudes in Western 
New York who have been made the wiser and the better bv 
his ministry. 

With the Rev. Mr. Searle, Rector of St. Paul's, I next made 
acquaintance. He was the predecessor of the Rev. Dr. Shelton, 
who has been settled here for a longer period than any other 
clergyman, and who enjoys a large measure of the esteem and af- 
fection of our community, irrespective of denominational bound- 
aries. Mr. Searle was a finished gentleman in manners, and was 
said to be of somewhat convivial tastes. He was highly and 
deservedly esteemed. My impression is that he was the high- 
est kind of High Churchman, holding the Kingdom of Heaven 
to be a close corporation in the Episcopal Church, and looking 
upon those without her pale, as the "celestials" regard all people 
not inhabiting the "Flowery Kingdom," as outside barbarians. 

Of Diocesan Bishops, we knew little in those primitive days. 
I do not remember to have seen Bishop Hobart, the Episcopal 
Bishop of New York, at this time. I well recollect, however, 
an introduction to Bishop Dubois, the Roman Catholic Prelate 
of this State in ICS25. He was made known to me by Mr. I.e 
Couteulx, an old and worthy citizen, whose memory should 
long since have been honored by a " Paper" read before our 
Historical Society. Bishop Dubois was the most polite of 
Frenchmen, and seemed amazed at his own hardihood in ven- 
turing so far beyond the pale of civilization; feeling, like the 
traveled Turk, that he had, in his visit to Buffalo, reached the 
" Wall of the World." 

My recollection is that the only Roman Catholic priest here 
in 1825, was Father Pax, a German, who ministered in a very 

126 A.\ A' L 'A L A DDRE SS B J ' THE 

humble edifice, then standing upon the present site of St. Louis' 
Cathedral. He was esteemed a worthy man, but a severe dis- 
ciplinarian; for though his name was Peace, his practice was 
occasionally belligerent — the old gentleman freely applying his 
cane to the shoulders of refractory parishioners. 

The Baptist Church of this city has never enjoyed the labors 
of a more eloquent divine than the Rev. Mr. Handy, who, in 
1825, held forth the Word of Life in Buffalo. He labored as 
one .standing by the grave's mouth, with his eye fixed upon the 
Heavenly City he was soon to enter. 

How well I remember his youthful and intellectual counte- 
nance, upon which the shadows of death were falling, his ear- 
nest and eloquent appeals, his affectionate manner, his hectic 
cough, marking him for the grave, where he was early borne by 
a weeping community. Many were attracted to his ministry 
outside the Baptist communion, for while a sincere immersion - 
ist, he was a catholic Christian, who held the essential doctrines 
of the gospel far above all denominational shibboleths. 

There remains but the Methodist Episcopal communion, 
which, if I mistake not, was served in 1825 by the Rev. Glezen 
Fillmore, an able and faithful minister of the New Testament. 
whose praise is in all the churches, and who yet survives,* the 
venerable and venerated relic of a past age. 

In conclusion, let me say that the Historical Society of this 
city has the main design of preserving all records of the early his- 
tory of Buffalo, and all the reminiscences of its pioneer popu- 
lation. They are fast passing away. Every year their numbers 
are diminishing, and we have evidence to-night that only a few 
venerable Fathers and Mothers survive of those who encoun- 
tered the perils of the wilderness, and who suffered the lo>s of 
the fruits of their industry in the burning of Buffalo. The) 
remind us by their presence of what they have done and suf- 
fered, in laying the foundation of thi* populous, wealthy and 

*Rcx. Mr. Fillmore died fanuan a«th, 1875. 

REV. JOHN C. LORD, D. D. 127 

beautiful city. What amazing changes have these aged men 
and women seen, changes in a lifetime, which ordinarily require 
centuries in their accomplishment. What contrasts must be 
apparent to them, as they look back to the period when Buffalo 
was an insignificant hamlet, fringed with impervious forest on 
one hand, and the solitary waters of our great inland sea on 
the other; the mournful sighing of the winds in the tree tops. 
and the solemn singing of the stormy waves, deep calling unto 
deep, only broken by the whoops of the savages who came to 
gaze upon the white men who had invaded their solitudes. 
With what anxious foreboding did the young mother clasp her 
babe to her bosom, as the red warriors looked curiously into 
her cabin, knowing that neither age nor sex were spared by them 
when out upon the war path. Could that fair girl or her youth- 
ful husband, in their most vivid imaginings, have conceived it 
possible that they should live to see such a city as this, with a 
harbor whitened with the sails of many populous states, and a 
commerce more important than that of the entire sea-board, in 
the year 1800? Like a dream, when one awaketh, must these 
changes seem to the venerable survivors who saw Buffalo in the 
early years of the nineteenth century. 

Separated from the East, the supplies of the early settlers 
were forwarded slowly by dangerous and uncertain routes. 
They were deprived of the ordinary appliances of civilization, 
dwelling apart from their brethren. They now hear the sounds 
of commerce on an artificial river connecting this city with the 
ocean and the world; and the solitudes, which once were broken 
only by the hoot of the owl, or the melancholy cry of the whip- 
poor-will, are now resonant with the rush of commerce and the 
shouts of the canal driver. They tied, more than half a century 
ago, from their burning habitations, pursued by a merciless foe; 
they saw the results of all their toil dissipated in a conflagration, 
from which it seemed that Uuffalo-couM never recover; thev 
have since seen her rise from her ashes like the fabled Phoenix. 
and on her banner the excellent motto of the Empire State, of 



which she is the second city in commercial rank, "Excelsior." 
Recovering from the momentary panic, the people of Buffalo, 
with the indomitable energy which was a marked characteristic 
of our pioneer population, returned, not to sit down among the 
ashes of their houses and their goods; but to rebuild and restore, 
to lay anew its foundations, to repeat the trials and self-denial 
of years, the fruits of which were destroyed in an hour, to com- 
mence their labors a second time in a solitude as profound as 
that which they invaded when they first entered their cabins on 
the shores of Erie. 

Survivors of those who have borne the burthen and heat of the 
day, we welcome you to these festivities, commemorative of your 
trials and labors, and especially of your triumph. Behold the 
city which you and yours have built! Behold this audience, in 
which is represented so much intelligence, character and wealth, 
so much youth and beauty; which, but for you, could never 
have met to make this Hall vocal with their congratulations ! 
The Historical Society of Buffalo welcome you, and promise, 
before this vast congregation, that your names and your deeds 
shall not perish from among men; that future generations shall 
know from their archives, the privations and sufferings of that 
enterprising band, who first camped under the "grand old 
trees" bordering the solitary waters, now ploughed by a thou- 
sand keels; who, under the arches of that primitive forest, or in 
their rude log cabins, offered prayer and praise to Him who 
had been a wall about them in all their perilous journey, and 
to whom they looked for protection from the dangers they must 
yet encounter. 

• We welcome the living. We honor the dead. We implore 
for these survivors the divine benediction and the good hope 
of another ami a better life. 

Over the dead of two wars, separated by more than half a 
century, some of you have been called U> mourn; the as>«n uues 
of your youth, the friends who labored by your side, have for 
the most part passed into the unseen world, yet you have not 


labored or suffered in vain. You behold the result of your 
toils to-day, and beyond this "there remaineth a rest for the 
people of God." Why should you count the sufferings of this 
time worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be re- 
vealed ? 

Wayworn and aged friends, — may we not apply to you the 
pathetic words of a poet: 

" My feet are worn and weary with the march, 
On the rough road and up the steep hill-side; 

Oh, City of our God, I fain would see 

Thy pastures green, where peaceful waters glide. 

My garments, travel-worn and stained with dust, 
Oft rent by briars and thorns that crowd my way, 

Would fain be made, O Lord, my righteousness, 
Spotless and white in Heaven's unclouded ray. 

Patience, poor soul, the Savior's feet were worn, 
The Savior's heart and hands were weary, too; 

His garments travel-stained, worn and old, 
His vision blinded with a pitying dew. 

Love thou the path of sorrow that He trod; 

Toil on, and wait in patience for thy rest; 
Oh, City of our Lord, we soon shall see 

Thy glorious walls, home of the loved and blest." 






Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I have been requested by the Board of Managers of this 
Society to prepare for this occasion a brief sketch of the origin, 
history and objects of the organization. 

The subject of organizing a Historical Society in this city 
was discussed by many of our citizens previous to 1862. The 
importance of procuring and preserving authentic memorials 
of the settlement of the city and county, and of the individuals 
who were its pioneers, and gave tone, direction and character to 
its early history, became more and more apparent as the city 
ad\anced in population and importance. There had been oc- 
casional gatherings of early settlers for festive or charitable 
purposes previous to i860; but the institution of "Old Settlers' 
Festivals" was not organized in any permanent form until the 
early part of the late civil war, and no organization of a speci- 
ally historical character had been effected. 

The gradual passing away of individuals identified with the 
origin and growth of the city, impressed many of our citizens 


with the importance of securing the scattered remnants of early 
local history floating throughout the city and vicinity, and pre- 
serving them in a tangible and systematic manner. 

In the process of organization no interest could be awakened 
except by the voluntary action of such of our citizens as felt 
interested in preserving such memorials for the benefit and for 
the example of- those who would fill their places in the future 
business growth and intellectual progress of the city. Xo legal 
power existed which would compel 'individuals to gather up and 
deposit such historical memorials as they might possess; neither 
was there any existing fund or provision in any form which 
would induce parties to give attention to the subject. The 
movement was therefore entirely spontaneous, dependent upon 
the interest which might be created by the action of a few in- 
dividuals. Such was the condition of the public mind in i860 
and 1862. 

A few gentlemen in discussing the subject in the early part 
of 1862, determined to make an effort to organize what it was 
believed would meet the wishes of a considerable number of 
our citizens. 

A call for a meeting of citizens for this purpose was made 
through the daily papers, to be held at the law office of O. H. 
Marshall, March 25th, 1862. This call was signed by the fol- 
lowing gentlemen: 

Geo. R. 15abcock, Henry W. Rogers, O. H. Marshall, Wm. Dorsheiraer, 

Dr. John C. Lord, Dr. Walter Clarke, L. F. Allen. 

The call was responded to by the following gentlemen: 

Geo. W. Clinton, 11. W. Rogers, Geo. R. Babcock, Oliver G. Steele, 
Jas. P. White, Dr. Walter Clarke, Henry Lovejoy, Win. Dor>heiiner, A. 1.. 
Baker, Joseph Warren, David F. Day, Edward S. Rich. John Howcutt, 

Mr. Lewis F. Allen was appointed Chairman, and O. II . 

Marshall, Secretary. 

After some discussion and interchange of views, it ua\ On 

motion of II. W. Rogers, 


Resolved, That it is expedient to organize a Historical Society for the City 
of Buffalo and County of Erie; and that the Chairman appoint a committee 
of seven to report a plan of organization. 

Mr. O.'H. Marshall, Rev. Dr. Hosmer, Rev. Dr. Clarke, 
Messrs. Win. Dorsheimer, James P. White, Geo. R. Babcock 
and Geo. W. Clinton were appointed said committee. 

This committee met April 8th, 1872, and a draft of a Consti- 
tution and By-laws was agreed upon and directed to be reported 
to a meeting of citizens, to be held at the rooms of the Medical 
Association, No. 7 North Division street, April 15 th. 1862. 
At the time specified a highly respectable number of citizens 
assembled, and organized by the appointment of Hon. Millard 
Fillmore as Chairman, and O. H. Marshall as Secretary. Mr. 
Marshall, from the committee, submitted the Constitution and 
By-laws prepared by the committee, which were unanimously 
adopted by the meeting. 

The Constitution and By-laws then adopted have, with slight 
alterations, continued to be the laws of the Society to the pres- 
ent time. 

The documents were directed to be engrossed; and the com- 
mittee were authorized to obtain the signatures of all citizens 
who might desire to become members. 

A meeting for the election of officers was fixed for the first 
Tuesday in May, 1862, and was well attended. 

The election resulted as follows: 

President — Hon. Millard Fillmore. 

Vice-President — Lewis F. Allen. 

Councillors — Geo. R. Babcock, Ceo. W. Clinton, Walter Clarke, Nathan 
K. Hall, H. \Y. Rogers, Wm. Shelton, O. H. Mar>ha!l, Geo. W. Hosmer, 
Wm. Dorsheimer. 

At a meeting of the Board of Managers, held at the office of 
Rogers & Bowen, May 13th, 1862, Chas. D. Norton was ap- 
pointed Secretary and Treasurer, and Guy H. Salisbury Corre- 
sponding Secretary and Librarian. 

Mr. Dorsheimer offered the use of his office as a place of 


meeting for the Board of Managers, and of deposit for the 
books and papers of the Society, which offer was accepted. 

On motion of L. F. Allen, the President was requested to 
deliver the Inaugural Address before the Society, at such time 
as he might select. 

Messrs. Babcock and Dorsheimer were appointed a committee 
to procure a suitable place for meeting. 

The Society met June 3d, 1862, at the office of Mr. Dor- 
sheimer. The committee on Inaugural Address reported that 
they had procured American Hall as the place for its delivery. 

The Inaugural Address was" delivered July 2d, 1862, by the 
President, at American Hall, to a large and appreciative audi- 
ence.* It set forth in simple and appropriate language the ob- 
jects of the Society, which Were to "discover, procure and pre- 
serve whatever may relate to the history of Western New York 
in general, and of the City of Buffalo in particular." It was 
not to teach but to preserve history. 

The Address sketched the early history and appearance of 
the settlement;, discussed at some length the origin of the name 
of Buffalo as applied to this locality, together with the singular 
names of the streets and avenues, as fixed by the agent of the 
Holland Land Company, Mr. Joseph Ellicott, with the subse- 
quent alterations to the present names, etc.; and closed with 
an appeal to the citizens to co-operate earnestly in carrying 
into effect the objects of the Society. 

The Address and the proceedings of the meeting gave tone 
and direction to the progress of the Society; completing its or- 
ganization and laying out definitely the line of effort which it 
would be called upon to adopt to insure success. 

The meetings of the Society since that period have been held 
monthly, and have always been attended by a sufficient num- 
ber of members to insure and perpetuate its existence. 

Mr. Guy H. Salisbury, the Corresponding Secretary and Li- 

*Sce Inaugural Address, nut \ p. i. 


brarian, gave much of his valuable time to the books and 
papers of the Society, and also for a considerable time acted as 
Recording Secretary. 

Mr. Charles D. Norton, who had temporarily filled the office 
of Treasurer, resigned in September, 1S62; and Mr. Oliver G. 
Steele was appointed Treasurer, which office he continued to 
fill until 1870. 

In the fall of 1862 an arrangement was made for a series of 
lectures before the Society on subjects of local history, by mem- 
bers of the Society, without expense, and free to the public. 
The lectures were w^ll attended during the winter of 1S62-63, 
and a great variety of local information was acquired for the 
benefit of the Society. 

It soon became evident, however, that a special effort was 
necessary to provide sufficient income to meet the current ex- 
penses of the Society, and insure its permanence. 

At the suggestion of Mr. Fillmore it was determined to se- 
cure sufficient private subscriptions to enable the Society to 
provide for its current expenses for five years. Under this 
suggestion fifty gentlemen bound themselves to pay twenty dol- 
lars per year, for five years. This arrangement was afterwards 
modified by allowing each subscriber to pay fifty dollars at one 
time, and become thus a life-member of the Society, and the 
balance of the subscription in annual payments of ten dollars. 

This arrangement having been effected, the Society has con- 
tinued its organization, carrying out successfully to the present 
time the general objects of the Society. 

In concert with other societies of the city, an arrangement 
wa's made with the Young Men's Association for a joint occu- 
pancy of the Association Buildings, on the corner of Main and 
Eagle streets, which continued until January, 1873. 

The great increase of valuable books, papers, portraits and 
other miscellaneous property of the* Society, could not but im- 
press the officers with the necessity of obtaining more extensive 
apartments, and such as were fire-proof. 


The rooms we now occupy were offered to the Society by the 
Western Savings Bank on terms so favorable, and were so well 
adapted to its purposes, that it was determined to secure them 
for its permanent use. An amicable and satisfactory arrange- 
ment was made with the officers of the Young Men's Associa- 
tion for the cancelment of the lease, and the rights under it. 
This Society, therefore, took possession of their present rooms 
early in January last, and have fitted them up and furnished 
them in the manner and style which you now see before you. 

The success of the Society has certainly exceeded the expec- 
tation of its originators. This result has been owing far more 
to the steady, persistent attention of the original members, than 
to the expenditure of money. Its income has barely provided 
for the current expenses, but it has endeavored to preserve the 
life-membership fund intact, as the basis of a permanent endow- 
ment fund. 

The books, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs, &c, have 
been presented to the Society by its members and others inter- 
ested in its success. 

By the last report, made at the annual meeting, July 14th, 

1872, they appear as follows: \ 

No. of Volumes in Library 4,283 

" Newspapers and Periodicals. . , 3S1 

" Pamphlets in Cases 4,326 

" Portraits in Oil 43 

" Cabinet Photographs 133 

" Maps on Rollers 60 

" Photographs in Albums, about 300 

" Autographs 235 

There is also quite a collection of coins and relics of the war 
of 181 2, and of the late civil war. 

The Obituary Record from 181 1 to 1872 contains the names 
of nearly ten thousand citizens of the city and county. 

The Marriage Record for the same period contains about 
twelve thousand names. 

The Societv is indebted for these last named very valuable 


books of record to the present librarian, Dr. G. S. Armstrong. 

The increased expenses of the Society, and the lack of resi- 
dent paying members, together with the contingency of contin- 
ued interest in the Society, in a community so largely interested 
in the active business of the city, shows plainly the necessity 
of providing a foundation fund to insure its permanence. The 
present fund is about $4,000. A movement is now in progress 
by the officers of the Society, to increase that fund to at least 
§26,000; the income from which, with the current income from 
resident members, will place the Society upon a firm foundation, 
and reflect credit upon the city and the individuals who con- 
tribute to that end. It is hoped that this satisfactory result 
may be reached within the present year. 

For the information of the audience, I give the names of the 

several gentlemen who have presided over the institution since 

its organization: 

Hon. Millard Fillmore 1862 to 1S67 

Henry W. Rogers 1S6S 

Rev. Dr. A. T. Chester 1S69 

O. H. Marshall. 1S70 

Hon. N. K. Hall 1S71 

William H. Greene 1S72 

Orlando Allen • 1 1S73 

One of thej)leasantest features connected with the Society, 
during the ten years of its existence, has been the Society club 
meetings during the winter season. These club meetings have 
been in the highest degree successful. Our citizens have thrown 
open their mansions freely for the use of the club, and papers 
have been prepared and read by gentlemen of the city, from 
•all classes and professions, which will compare favorably with 
any of a similar character in any other city in the Union. 
Many of these papers have been published in pamphlet form, 
and nearly all have been placed on file, and it is the intention 
of the Society, as soon as it can command sufficient income to 
warrant the expense, to publish volumes of its transactions, 
embracing a portion of the papers read at the club meetings. 


As I have before stated, the success of the Society has been 
the result of the steady faithfulness of its officers. It has been 
a labor of love with them, and the exhibition before you shows 
what can be accomplished by well-directed personal effort, with 
but little expenditure of money. 

The valuable historical property in its possession has been 
accumulated from voluntary contributions of individuals; and 
now that the rooms are fire-proof, still larger and more valuable 
■contributions may confidently be expected. 

Such, briefly, is the history and progress of this Society to 
the present time, and its results thus far are before you. 

We appeal to you now, and to both ladies and gentlemen, for 
your cordial co-operation in carrying out the intention of the 
Society, which is to collect and preserve memorials of our past 
and future history as a city, and of every family and inhabitant 
who has been or may be identified with its business pursuits, 
public institutions or social character. Whatever is deposited 
in these rooms will be as safe and well cared for as human 
prudence and foresight can suggest, and will be a standing 
monument to the history, progress and character of those who 
have contributed to its physical growth, and moral and intellec- 
tual condition. 


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The Village of Buffalo, is situated at the eastern extrem- 
ity of Lake Erie,* in the State of New-York, north latitude 42° 
50' 47" and longitude 79 ° 22' 37" west from Greenwich, on a 
beautiful height of ground, commanding an unlimited view of 
the lake, and its southern boundary on the one hand, and on 
the other, the variegated scenery of the Canadian shore, and the 
majestic Niagara, whose waters form that truly sublime cata- 
ract, Niagara Falls, at the distance of twenty miles north. 

The eminence, on which the Village is situated, rises about 
fifty feet above the level of the Lake, and extends in a northern 
direction, declining gently to the east and west; at the south- 
west, the descent is from twenty to thirty feet, and somewhat 

*This Lake derived its name from a tribe of Indians, who were exterminated (with the 
exception of a single individual) by the Senecas, at a great battle fought near the Grand 
River, Upper Canada, some 150 or 200 years ago. There are descendants of the person 
preserved at that time, now living in the Indian village, (so called) near this place. 

Note. — This pamphlet is now out of print, and very rare; one of the few copies extant 
being in the library of the Buffalo Historical Society. The title-page is as follows: 

11 Buffalo, in 1825: containing Historical and Statistical Sketches, illustrated with a View 
of the Harbor and Map of the Village. Buffalo: published by S. Hall. H. A. Salisbury, 
printer, 1S25." 

/■'tic similes of the View by the photo-lithographic process, and Map by the artotype 
process, accompany this republication, facing pp. 1^ j and 150, respectively. 

For an interesting letter concerning the originals of these, the first copper-plates pro- 
duced in Buffalo, see letter of Hon. Gideon J. Ball, of Erie, Pa., son of the author of the 
pamphlet, and engraver of the View and Map. — /«wj, p. 151. 

A prefatory n«'tc says: "THIS View was taken from the Terrace, between Willink 

A 1 40 B UFFA L IX 1 $25 . 

abrupt, to a flat of rich alluvial, not long since supposed to be- 
an irreclaimable swamp; through which, now passes the Grand 
Erie Canal, and terminates in the Little Buffalo, a short dis- 
tance from its confluence with Big Buffalo Creek, which never 
ceases to pay its accustomed tribute to the waters of Lake 

The surrounding country is of a beautifully even surface, 
giving a view which appears to be limited only by the horizon. 
The soil in the Village, consists of dry sand, intermixed with 
gravel, affording more eligible building lots, than any place of 
its size in the State. 

From whence originated the name of Buffalo, as applied to 
this place, the Author has not been able to learn; notwithstand- 
ing there are many stories, and some traditional tales on the 
subject, all of which are said to be equally true. The follow- 
ing one may not be uninteresting: At a period long before its 
first settlement, a party of French, bound up the Lake, in a 
batteau, sought shelter in the Creek; being short of provisions, 
despatched a hunting party, who, while in search of game, fell 
in with a horse, (belonging, probably, to a neighboring tribe 
of Indians,) that was soon made a sacrifice, by the hungry 
huntsmen, dressed, arid taken to their companions, with the 
deceptive information, that it was the flesh of a Buffaloe, which 
they had killed. Hence came the name of Buffalo Creek, and 
consequently the Village. "Whether true or not, the Author is 
unable to say. 

The name Tc-u-sliu-ii'a, is that bv which the Indians have 

Avenue and South Cayuga Street, near the line between the lots no. 30 and 31; the fore- 
ground exhibits the continence of the Canal with the waters of Little Buffalo, and its final 
termination with the Lake through the medium of Big Buffalo Creek; the Light H use, 
Piei, mouth of the Harbor, and shipping within; Lake Krie. with point Ahino (in the Prov- 
ince of I'pper Canada.) on the right, distant eleven miles, and Sturgeon point, Ion the L*. 
S. shore,) on the left, distant about fifteen miles. The distance between the two points 
may be about sixteen miles." 

The author's preface is: " FROM the growing importance, the ureal demand, and daily 
inquiries by strangers for information in relation to the village of Buffalo; the Author has 
been induced to exhibit this work to the public, with a hope, that it may answer their pur- 
pose until such time as some other person, may take up the subject and do it more ample 
justice." — Ho. 

BUFFALO IX 1S25. 141 

always known and called this place, anterior to its first settle- 
ment by the whites. My informant supposes it to be a corrupt 
Mohawk word, which literally signifies split basswood-bark; of 
which description of timber, there has been a great abundance 
on the margin of Buffalo Creek; from which adventitious cir- 
cumstance, the word may probably have been derived. Or per- 
, haps there may have been some peculiar circumstance relating 
to the mode of splitting or peeling the bark of this tree, that 
has caused the Indian word Te-u-shu-wa to be applied for a 

The Indian name for the animal, Buffaloe, is Te-ge-yoh-ga, 
which places it beyond even the possibility of a doubt, that the 
name, Buffalo, ( as applied to this place ) is not of Indian 

The climate is more pleasant than any situation, in an equally 
northern latitude, in our country, and equally healthy. The 
Summers and Autumns are peculiarly fine; the Lake affords a 
gentle breeze during those seasons, much resembling a sea 
breeze, but of more elasticity and sweetness. The Winters are 
less uniform, than in most other parts of our country — the snow 
rarely falls to a greater depth than six inches; the cold is not 
so severe as in other places in the same latitude, situated re- 
mote from the Lake; yet in Winter, when the waters are cov- 
ered with ice, the winds are often cold and piercing. 

There are no diseases peculiar to the Village; it is quite ex- 
empt from local causes which produce bilious, remittent, and 
intermittent fevers, that prevail in many sections of the west- 
ern part of the State. 

' The Spring season is variable; the changes of weather are 
often sudden, especially during the continuance of ice in the 
Lake, which probably has a tendency, in some instances, to 
produce chronic and inflammatory, complaints. 

The water is pure, and obtained entirely from wells, at a 
depth of from ten to fifty feet. 

This place was included in the act of mutual cessions, be- 

142 BUFFALO IX iS-j. 

tween the States of Massachusetts and New-York, and by that 
act ceded to the former; by subsequent transfers, it came into 
the hands of the Holland Land Company, and was first sur- 
veyed in 1 80 1, and began to settle in 1802. The settlement 
was slow, prior to the year 18 10; from that period, until the 
commencement- of the late war, in 181 2, it was a flourishing 
country town, and continued so, until destroyed by a party of 
British and Indians, in the month of December, 1813, at which 
time it may be said to have been depopulated. 

This seems to have first brought the place into notoriety; yet 
it nearly slumbered, in its ashes, until after the close of the 
war in 1815. The inhabitants then commenced rebuilding, 
notwithstanding they had just been reduced from affluence to 
indigence and want, by the\ conflagration, and with a hope and 
expectation, that the Government of the United States would 
remunerate them in whole, or part, for their losses; but being 
disappointed in these expectations, it completely paralyzed all 
kinds' of business; a scene of insolvency ensued, more distress- 
ing, if possible, than even the destruction of the village. 

Buffalo remained in much the same state, from that time 
until the year 1S22, when it began to feel the inspiring and re- 
viving influence of the progress of the Grand Canal, which 
raised its drooping spirits, gave business a fresh spring, and we 
may now very safely say, that there is not a more flourishing 
village in any part of our country. And what gives it an ad- 
ditional start at this time, is the long expected remuneration, 
from the Government of the United States, for losses sustained 
during the late war, which by an act of the last Congress, they 
are* now enabled to realize, together with the revival of the 
Bank of Niagara, and the establishment of an Insurance Office, 
with a large surplus capital. 

There are at present between 400 and 500 buildings, includ- 
ing dwelling houses, stores and mechanics' shops; and accord- 
ing to the census taken in January last, there were 2412 inhab- 
itants, which is 317 more than the whole township of Buffalo, 

BUFFALO IN iSjj;. 143- 

including the village of Black-Rock, contained in the year 1820 
according to the census then taken. Black-Rock now contains 
1039 inhabitants. 

Among the population there are four clergymen, seventeen 
attornies. nine physicians, three printers, who give employment 
to ten hands; two book-binders, four do.; four goldsmiths, three 
do.; three tin and copper smiths, sixteen do.; seven blacksmiths,, 
seventeen do.; two cabinet makers, ten do.; three wheelwrights 
and coach builders, ten do.; two chair makers, five do.; one 
cooper, three do.; three hatters, eight do.; two tanners and 
curriers, nine do.; five boot and shoemakers, thirty-five do. - 
two painters, five do.; four tailors, twenty do.; one manufac- 
turer of tobacco, two do.; fifty-one carpenters and joiners r 
nineteen masons and stone cutters, three butchers, and one 
brush maker. 

It may be worthy of remark, that notwithstanding the eligi- 
bility of situation for a shipwright, or gunsmith, there is neither 
in the place. With these exceptions, Buffalo seems to be well 
supplied with the different branches of mechanics. 

There are twenty-six dry good stores, thirty-six groceries,, 
three hat stores, seven clothing do., four druggist do., one hard- 
ware do., six shoe do., one looking glass do., three jewelry do. r 
three printing offices, two book stores and binderies, eleven 
houses of public entertainment, one rope walk, three tanneries,, 
one brewery, one livery stable, eight store houses, one custom, 
house, one reading room, one post office, one public library, 
one masonic hall, and one theatre, situated on lot no. 15; which 
has been conducted during the past year with a very consider- 
able degree of ability. 

The public buildings consist of a brick Court House, a very 
handsome designed building,' but remains unfinished, situated 
upon an eminence on the east side of North Onondaga street, 
fronting Ca/enovia Avenue, and is on tht' most commanding, 
ground in the village. 

A stone Gaol, standing on lot no. 185. 

144 BUFFALO LX 1825. 

A Market House situated at the head of Stadnitski Avenue. 

The Market is as well supplied as most country villages, with 
every thing in season and of a good quality, and it may not be 
unworthy of remark that the value of wheat is not known here, 
nor is there ever a bushel offered for sale; this is undoubtedly 
occasioned by the want of mills, or streams to set them upon, 
there being ' none within a less distance than eleven miles. 
There can be no hazard in saying, that surplus capital could 
not be better invested than in that of a Steam Grist Mill, nor 
would the establishment of any other factory be of equal ad- 
vantage to the community. 

The Niagara Bank is a large brick building, situated on North 
Onondaga, between Swan and Eagle streets. 

The Buffalo Insurance Office is a large well finished three 
story brick building, on lot no. 35, Willink Avenue. 

An Episcopal Church, built of wood, a good sized and well 
finished edifice, standing on lot no. 42. 

A Presbyterian Meeting House, a very commodious build- 
ing, situated on lot no. 43. 

And a convenient Methodist Chapel, on lot no. 83. 

There is one Young Ladies' School, one Young Gentlemen's 
Academy, and four Common Schools. 

The lots, nos. 108, 109, in and 112, are occupied for a 
burying ground. The space left blank in the plan is Lands 
owned and reserved by Joseph Ellicott, Esq. 

There are five religious congregations, one Episcopalian, one 
Presbyterian, one Methodist, one Baptist, and one Universalist. 

Among the Societies and Institutions, there are five Religious, 
two Masonic, one Library, one Banking, and one Insurance. 

There are four weekly Newspapers, to wit: The Buffalo Pa- 
triot, established in 1S11; The Buffalo Journal, established in 
1815; the Gospel Advocate, established in 1823; the Buffalo 
Emporium, established in 1S24. « 

The Light Housk is built of stone, and situated on a low 
sandy point, near the continence of the waters o\ Buffalo Creek 

BUFFALO IX 1825. 145 

and Lake Erie. The light is elevated about thirty feet above 
the ordinary Lake level, but is of no great use to manners, in 
consequence of the smoke and mists of the village, settling 
along the margin of the waters, just about the elevation of the 
lantern, which almost totally obscures the light; except when 
so near as to see it beneath, or at so great a distance, that it 
may be seen over the vapor. 

A private light is fixed at the pier head, for the use of the Steam 
Boat, and when lighted, can be seen when that of the Light 
House remains in perfect obscurity. This evil requires a remedy. 

The Pier is built of wood and stone, commencing at the ex- 
tremity of the sandy point, on which the Light House stands, 
extending in a westerly direction into the Lake, eighty-four rods, 
and averaging eighteen feet in width: it was built in t 819-20 
and 21, for the purpose of preventing the accumulation of sands 
in the mouth of the Creek; and has so far answered the pur- 
pose, that there has been an uninterrupted and safe navigation 
(during the seasons) for the last three years, for any vessels 
that have navigated the Lake, and in any weather. 

The buildings in the village are principally of wood, and not 
very compact., with the exception of Willink Avenue; this street 
is filled up, and is the most business part of the town. Van- 
staphorst Avenue is built upon much beyond the extent of the 
map accompanying this work, and is the principal street that 
is travelled, in passing from east to west. There are many ex- 
cellent buildings on north and south Onondaga streets; and 
north and south Cayuga and Tuscarora are equally well built 
upon, as are the streets running at right angles, consisting of 
Crow, Seneca, Swan, Eagle, and Mohawk streets, and Stad- 
nitski, and Ca/enovia Avenues. 

The streets leading along the creeks, ( which have not vet 
been favored even with a Dutch name ) may be seen in the 
Summer season, to exhibit a bustle and h'trry of business, not 
unlike a seaport; and which always accompanies the transfer 
and reshipment of property. 

146 BUFFALO IX 1825. 

These streets are well built, with extensive and commodious 
ware-houses, and capacious docks, where the shipping lies un- 
disturbed, and in perfect safety. 

The shipping which belongs to this port, amounts to upwards 
of one thousand and fifty tons; among which are one Steam 
Boat, one Hermaphrodite Brig, eight Schooners, one Sloop; and 
four transportation boats, which average over twenty-five tons 
each; and a Steam Ferry Boat, which will commence running 
on the 1 st of July next, between this place and Fort Erie; and 
is calculated to make a daily trip to Chippewa, on the Canada 
side, during the present Summer. Besides, there are numerous 
other water craft, of smaller dimensions. 

There are upwards of sixty sail of good, substantial and safe 
vessels, owned upon this Lake, forty-two of which entered this 
port last season; and there were 286 arrivals, and an equal 
number of clearances. 

In the month of March, 1803, the first mail was received 
here, and returned to Canandaigua, on horseback; and contin- 
ued to be transported in this manner, every two weeks, until 
about the year 1805. A weekly route was then established, and 
continued until about the year 1809 or ro; it was then changed to 
a stage waggon, but was not very regular, prior to the latter year. 
It has subsequently been carried semi-weekly, and again three 
times a week; and for a number of years past, has been trans- 
ported daily. There are now six different mail routes, leading 
to and from this place, and twenty regular mails are received 
and despatched every week, to wit: Seven to the east, via Can- 
tWidaigua, carried in post coaches; seven north, via Black Rock. 
Niagara Falls, Lewistoh, &c. carried in post coaches: three 
west, via Frie, Pa., carried in post coaches; one via Alden, to 
Moscow, on horseback; one via Aurora and Wales, to Moscow, 
in a stage waggon; one via Hamburg, to (Mean, on horseback; 
and a mail received and returned by every trip of the Steam 
Boat Superior. Few places afford greater facilities for the 
accommodation and conveyance of travellers than this. 


There are nine regular lines of Stages arriving and leaving 
here every day; three to the east, three to the north, and a 
morning and evening line to Black Rock, (meeting and trans- 
ferring their passengers to a stage from the Canada shore) and 
one to the west; the carriages are principally post coaches. 

Besides these daily conveyances, there is an extensive livery 
stable, where every kind of vehicle can be obtained, that are 
usually kept at such establishments. 

There is also the steam brig Superior, of 346 tons burthen, 
whose accommodations have not been surpassed, making a trip 
to Detroit, a distance of nearly three hundred miles, every 
eight or nine days; and it is rare that a day passes during the 
season without the arrival or departure of some of the lake 
vessels, which generally have very good accommodations for 
passengers, and are well found. 

The Indian reservation is situated east of this village about 
two miles, and lies in an oblong form, containing eighty-three 
thousand five hundred and fifty-seven acres of the first quality 
of land. 

The Indian village, (so called) is upon these lands; stran- 
gers are often impelled by curiosity to visit this place, and as 
often return dissatisfied and disgusted, after travelling over a 
rough road three miles, to see a few detached Indian wigwams, 
and fields, in a rude and imperfect state of cultivation. 

Their population is between nine and ten hundred. 

Among the principal chiefs are Red Jacket, who evidently 
possesses more native talent than any other: proud of his na- 
tion, jealous of his rights — a penetrating and discriminating 
mind, and more influence in the national councils than any 
other chief, and as much gifted in oratory as was the late 
and noted Patrick Henry. 

Capt. Pollard, who is an advocate for civilization and the 
Christian religion. • 

Young King, a man of good calculation, and as good a judge 
of the value of property as any man. 

148 BUFFALO IX 1823. 

Little Billy, Astride Town, and Seneca White, neither of 
whom are so destitute of talent as to be a discredit to the title 
of chief. 

Many, no doubts indulge themselves in visionary specula- 
tions, founded upon the future prospects of the Village of 
Buffalo. That it will, at no very remote period, rival the 
largest inland: town in America, in point of business and opu- 
lence, seems to be a point conceded: but that it will mature 
with the rapidity of a mushroom, or rise in magnificence like 
the enchanted palace, (as many imagine) I am not yet credu- 
lous enough to believe. It is true, the advantages are com- 
manding; it has a fine climate, a rich adjacent country, and it 
may be well said to be the key of the Western Lakes, which 
open to our artificial rivers the growing commerce of that vast 
region of country, bordering south and west, upon the most 
extensive inlantl seas on the globe. 

To enter minutely into a calculation of the probable extent 
of this commerce, at the expiration of twenty or forty years, 
would exceed the limits prescribed by a work intended merely 
as a brief hint at its future greatness, if, indeed, it were possi- 
ble to arrive at a satisfactory result. When we contemplate 
the progress of the settlements in Ohio, the western parts of 
Pennsylvania and New-York, for the last twenty years; when 
we view 'the daily increasing current of emigration; the im- 
mense prostration of the forests, yielding to the industry of the 
husbandman; the hardihood and intelligence of those who are 
making the "wilderness blossom;" we can hardly limit the im- 
agination to the extent of the wealth and population which 
will ultimately be comprehended within those vastly fertile 
regions. But that their surplus products will be wafted to this 
place, and bartered for other commodities, or reshipped on 
board Canal Boats, for an eastern market, there can be no 
doubt; and there can be as little doubt* that upon the extent 
and profits of this commerce, is based the future prosperity 
and opulence of this village. 

BUFFALO IN 1S25. 149 

It is less than twenty-five years since this place presented to 
the view of man, a single trace of civilization. In 18 13, as has 
been before observed, it was totally destroyed by the enemy, 
and it is very evident that this indiscriminate destruction was 
unavoidably succeeded by pecuniary embarrassments pecul- 
iarly distressing. Under these circumstances it can be hardly 
necessary to add, that its growth has been retarded by the 
poverty and distress of its suffering inhabitants. But for the 
last three years there has been a flattering increase of popula- 
tion, and not less flattering is the general industry and perse- 
verance with which their several vocations are pursued. 

The village was first surveyed, and the first sales of lots 
made by the ex-agent of the Holland Land Company, and by 
him and others employed in the office, the most eligible situa- 
tions for business were engrossed, and will not probably be 
sold or but partially improved during the life time of its pres- 
ent owners. This is a serious impediment to its growth, and 
one which there is too much reason to apprehend will not be 
readily removed. 

The doubts existing in relation to the place of the termina- 
tion of the canal, or rather its connection with the Niagara 
river, have unquestionably retarded the increase of the village, 
but not to any considerable extent: without touching upon the 
merits of this unpleasant controversy, there is nothing hazarded 
in the opinion that no injury will result from the course pur- 
sued by the present canal board. Should inconvenience arise, 
the legislature will certainly remove them. Every thing re- 
lating to the Canal and Lake navigation at this place is now 
within the grasp of individual enterprise. Should the present 
works terminate as unfortunately as has been predicted In 
those who condemned it at its commencement, the disasters 
resulting therefrom will no doubt be promptly relieved bv the 
public. It would present to the state a Vase of such magni- 
tude, that neither local partialities, political prepossessions, 
private interests, nor personal animosities, would be likelv 

150 B UFFA LO IX 182J. 

ever to turn the ears of the {representatives of the people, from 
the calls of justice, or to close their eyes upon the demonstra- 
tions of experience; nor permit the delay of the completion of 
a work, at which every state in the union, and even the nations 
of Europe, are looking with admiration. 


Buffalo is in longitude () c 9' 37" west from Portland, in the State of Maine 

From Boston, - - - - 8° iS' 37" \\e>t. 

Quebec, - - - - 8 [7 37 

New-York, - - - - 5 -14 37 

Philadelphia, - - - - 4 13 37 

Washington City, - - - 2 6 37 

New-Orleans, ... 10 46 23 east. 

The distance from Washington City, according to the post route is 

431 mile-. 

From New York city, .... 446 

Albany, .... 296 

V tiea, .... 200 
. Canandaigua, L - - . - \ 88 

Batavia, .... 39 

Niagara Falls, 22 

Lewiston, .... 2*) 

Fort Niagara, - - - - 37 

Olean, .... 74 

Detroit, .... 290 I 

Sandusky, .... 240 ( by 

Cleveland, - - - 180 j water. 

Erie, - - - - 80 I 

New Orleans, - 1392 

Pittsburgh, .... 210 

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Erik, February 8th. 1S76. 
0. H. Marshall, Eso.,. Buffalo, X. V. 

Dear Sir: — Our search has been crowned with success. Two copies of 
the pamphlet, "Buffalo in 1S25," have been found. They show age. I 
send you the more perfect one. Several copies of the picture, "View of 
Buffalo Harbor," were found also. I send you one of them. The "View 
of Buffalo Harbor," and the Map of the Village, were i\\c Jirst copper-plate 
engravings done in Buffalo. In your city you have skill'd engravers — ac- 
complished artists — who may laugh at the rude work of that day, 1S25. A 
proper study of the period, and a knowledge of the attending difficulties, I 
am persuaded, will cause them to hesitate before they condemn. 

S. Ball was not an engraver — never claimed to be — but, with a pencil, he 
sketched well and cleverly. 

After the completion of his drawings, he corresponded with engravers in 
the city of New Vork, and to his surprise, found their charges so high, and 
the difficulties of distance so great, that he was disposed for a time to give 
up his hobby- — for on his part it was a hobby. 

After reflection, he resolved to do the work himself. Copper was pro- 
cured; — the plates were hammered to firmness, and by infinite rubbing, their 
surfaces were finished so that they presented polished planes. 

S. Ball then set himself to the work, and by persevering effort, succeeded 
in transferring to the copper the pictures he had drawn with his pencil. 

When the engravings were completed — it is amusing to remember with 
what innocence of purpose — the plates were carried to the " Buffalo Patriot" 
printing office: upstairs at north-east corner of Vanstaphorst Avenue and 
Eagle street. The plates were duly put on the printing press, when earnest 
and repeated efforts were made to get impressions — but the pictures came not. 

Then it was learned that newspaper printing presses would not give im- 
pressions from engraved copper-plates. Here was a dilemma. How to 
overcome the difficulty was the next study, books were consulted. They 
taught that such work could be dou^ only on a copper-plate printing press, 
with large, lignum-vitic rollers, an upper and lower one, etc.. etc. Such 
rollers were not to be had in Buffalo; to procure them from abroad was out 
of the question. Mechanics who hail a knowledge ^( timber were con- 
sulted; they agreed that buttonwood was the best substitute. Accordingly, 
a buttonwood-tree of suitable diameter was cut down, and two large rollers, 
turned in a lathe, were soon provided, as also a bed-plate to run between 


them ; in this manner a copper-plate printing press was fabricated. And 
on that press the picture and map in the pamphlet, " Buffalo in 1825," 
were printed. I will add that when the printing came to he done, news- 
paper ink was used, and it proved! to be unfitted for the work, — was unsatis- 
factory in every respect. 

Authorities were again consulted, when it was learned that there was an 
ink, known as copper-plate printers' ink, and the books furnished instruc- 
tions how to make it. 

The proper ingredients were procured, ink made, and by its use the pic- 
tures came from the press of a better and darker color. This was book or 
picture making under difficulties. The larger part of the edition was given 
away; a limited number were sold at twenty-five cents each. T think I am 
safe in saying that not five (5) per cent, of the cost of the work was ever 
realized by S. Ball. On his part it was a hobby — a labor of love, and he 
gratified it. 

Very truly yours, 

Gideon J. Bali. 

P. S. — I read the pamphlet to-day, — after a pause of fifty year.-? ! It re- 
called to memory occurrences connected therewith. I have ventured to 
mention some of them. This writing, I confess, has afforded me a brief 
period of relief (I am an invalid — write slow, and with difficulty), yet I fear 
the reading of my letter may prove to be a tax on your time and patience; 
if so, 1 trust you will pardon the liberty I have taken. 

Bali . 


' ' OF 




To all well-informed persons it is known that the revolu- 
tionary war was closed in 1783. By the treaty of peace be- 
tween Great Britain and the Independent States of America, 
it was agreed that the territory extending from the forty-fifth 
degree of north latitude, at a point where it intersects the St. 
Lawrence river, thence through the middle of the river and 
great lakes to the Lake of the Woods, far beyond Lake Supe- 
rior, should belong to the United States. The line of division 
was only generally marked out and indicated in the treat)'. 
Its precise locality was surveyed and marked off, after the war 
of 1812, by commissioners representing each government, dur- 
ing the years from 181.8 to 1825. 

Notwithstanding the fact that this treaty conceded the right 
to us to occupy the country, and an equal right to navigate the 
lakes and rivers, the British government retained armed pos- 
session until 1796, thirteen years after peace had been con- 
cluded. They had garrisons at Oswego, Niagara, Lewiston, 
Schlosser, Fort Miami on the Maumee river, ten miles inland 

* tfced, Ui.ti.bcr (fth, .S a. 


from where the city of Toledo now stands, and at Detroit. 
The use of the great lakes was entirely prohibited to us: and a 
strong disposition was manifested to deter people from explor- 
ing the country, or approaching the Niagara frontier. To make 
this as disagreeable and unsafe as possible to travelers or ex- 
plorers, the commanding officer at Fort Niagara gave directions 
to the Indians, then very numerous and much under the influ- 
ence of the British government, that if they found any strange 
white men traveling over the country, they were to be consid- 
ered British deserters, and were to be arrested and brought to 
the Fort, unless they could show the commander's pass, which 
was a large wax impression on a card, and which was distrib- 
uted among the Indians. 

The military retentionof the country bordering on the great 
lakes, as well as that of the lakes themselves, was not as inju- 
rious to the people of this state as to those of Ohio. Here it 
gave little annoyance. There were but few people in these 
parts, and they had no business to do on the lakes. The high- 
est compliment the descendants of the early pioneers into West- 
ern New York can pay to the memory of their forefathers, grows 
out of what I am now going to relate. 

All the predatory incursions of the British and Indians dur- 
ing the war of the Revolution, that laid waste the valley of the 
Mohawk, Minnisink in Orange county, and Wyoming in Penn- 
sylvania, were concocted at and started from Fort Niagara. 
These incursions were broken up and forever terminated by 
Oeneral SuiUyan's expedition in 1779. The only great battle 
fought by Sullivan against the Indians assisted by their English 
friends, many of whom were in the battle, was at Newtown, 
now Elmira. The Indians and their allies were defeated, and 
never attempted to face Sullivan in battle again, but retired 
further west. Sullivan pursued them, destroying their towns, 
apple-trees, and almost every thing t^at could sustain human 
life, as far as the Genesee river, on both sides of which he laid 
evervthin< r waste for several miles. The winter following was 



very cold, and much snow fell; large numbers of deer perished 
in the woods, and many Indians died of starvation and cold. 

In eight or ten years after the expedition of Sullivan, the 
whites, in considerable numbers, began coming into the country. 
The Indians, still smarting from the punishment inflicted upon 
them by Sullivan, and being much the most numerous, were 
very suspicious of the white intruders, and were ready to take 
revenge if a proper occasion offered. The high-toned character 
which the early pioneers brought with them, their frank, honest 
and upright conduct in all their transactions with the Indians, 
soon impressed the minds of the Indians with the belief that 
the whites came amongst them as friends and not as enemies. 
And so harmoniously have they lived together that not a shot 
has been fired in battle or an'ger between the whites and Indi- 
ans, since 1779. The mention of these facts is a monument to 
the memory of those noble men, the early pioneers; and their 
descendants may well be proud of them. How sadly different 
it was in Ohio, I will now tell you. 

The retention of the military posts around the great lakes, 
one of which was several miles inland in Ohio, kept up a bitter 
and angry feeling between the early white settlers of that state 
and the Indians, who were largely under the malign influence 
of British agents, which was frequently manifested in the en- 
trance of the white settlements by small Indian parties, burning 
buildings and committing many murders. The whites were a 
different class of men from those who first settled Western Xew 
York. Instead of cultivating good feelings, they retaliated 
whenever an occasion offered; and thought the killing of an 
Indian of no more Consequence than that of a wild turkey, or 
a deer. Thus matters continued to grow worse until the Indi- 
ans determined to drive the whites south of the Ohio river. 
This brought out a considerable military force under the com- 
mand of Colonel Crawford, who had a fight with the Indians 
near Tyamoctee creek, about thirty-five miles south o( Lower 
Sanduskv. Crawford was defeated, manv of his men killed. 


himself carried prisoner to an Indian town on the Tyamoctee, a 
few miles west of the place where the fight took place, where 
he was burned at the stake. Another and larger expedition 
was organized and took the field under the command of Gen- 
eraLHamer. He was also defeated in a fight with the Indians, 
within one hundred miles north of Cincinnati. This called 
out a still larger but badly organized force, under command of 
General St. Clair. His army was surprised and dreadfully de- 
feated by the Indians, on the morning of November 4th, 1791, 
near where Hamer had met the same fate. A large number of 
men were killed and wounded, and a complete rout took place. 
Many distinguished officers fell on that occasion, amongst others 
the celebrated Colonel Butler. 

Early in the spring of .1794, a formidable expedition, under 
the command of the celebrated General Wayne, was organized 
and started from Cincinnati, then called Fort Washington, to 
chastise the Indians wherever they could be found. This ex- 
pedition cautiously pushed forward through the woods, taking 
the route, or nearly so, of St. Clair. On reaching the battle- 
field of the latter with the Indians, Wayne erected a fort, to 
which he gave the name of Fort Recovery. From this place 
the army entered the unbroken wilderness, marching with great 
caution, and giving the Indians no opportunity to attack with 
the hope of success. The Indians kept retiring as Wayne ad- 
vanced. After a toilsome march through the wilderness, the 
army reached the mouth of the Auglaise river, where it unites 
with the Maumee. . Here Wayne built a military work, and 
called it Fort Defiance. Resting and refreshing his men after 
Their laborious march through the woods, Wayne prepared to 
descend the Maumee river in pursuit of the Indians. Using the 
river to transport, in canoes and boats prepared for the pur- 
pose, such supplies as he needed, the army marched down on 
the west side of the river, and gave protection to the boats. 

On approaching within three or four miles of Fort Miami, 
one of the British military posts, he found the Indians, more 


5 / 

than two thousand in number, strongly posted in a wooded 
place, their left resting on the river, and their right protected 
by thick and high grass, which grew luxuriantly on the river 
bottom. On finding his enemy, Wayne halted, arranged his 
men, and. made up his mind for serious work. His orders were 
for his infantry to enter the wood, give one fire, and then push 
on with the bayonet to rouse the Indians from their cover be- 
hind the fallen timber; and as soon as they were all brought 
into sight, his cavalry was to dash in. On the approach of 
Wayne, the Indians received him with a heavy fire from behind 
logs and trees, where they were concealed. Wayne's orders 
were fully carried out; and so furious was his attack, that the 
Indians could not stand it; and after losing many, they broke 
and fled, and gathered around the British fort. Wayne delayed 
not a moment in pursuing them, and when he had approached 
within a short distance of the fort, he sent a courier to Colonel 
Hamilton, the commandant, informing him that he, Wayne, was 
in hot pursuit of his enemy, whom he had just defeated: that 
the commander of the fort must not admit them within it. nor 
furnish them with anything; and that if he did. he should con- 
sider him as a common enemy, and attack the fort. Colonel 
Hamilton replied in a high tone, deprecating the serious conse- 
quences that might follow the assaulting a fort of His Majesty 
King George. Wayne gave him distinctly to understand, that 
any assistance he rendered the -Indians would be at his peril. 
Colonel Hamilton thought discretion the better part of valor, 
and left the Indians to their fate. All hope of contending any 
longer was lost, and their only resource for arms and ammuni- 
tion* being cut off, they craved mercy and gave up, Wayne 
granted this upon condition that the Various tribes engaged in 
the war against him should, the next spring, send representa- 
tives to meet commissioners on the part of the United States, 
at such place as the government should determine, for the pur- 
pose of making a general treaty of peace. 

This meeting took place at Greenville, Dark county, Ohio; 


adjoining the State of Indiana. A general treaty of peace was 
made between the contracting parties, since which time Ohio 
has been quite free from Indian disturbances. 

The Indians ceded to the United States six miles square at 
Lower Sandusky (now Fremont); six miles square at Fort 
Wayne on the Wabash river; six miles square at Chicago, and 
the island of Michilimackinac. At Sandusky, Fort Wayne and 
Chicago, the government erected stockades, or slight forts, and 
storehouses within them, from which places there were annually 
distributed cloth, tobacco, pipes, wampum, shot-guns, powder 
and shot, vermilion, beads, and numerous other articles stipu- 
lated in the treaty as annuities. Judge Samuel Tupper, who 
afterwards became a resident of this city, was the United States 
agent when I first went to. Lower Sandusky in 181 1. 

Several young officers serving with General Wayne became 
afterwards distinguished as military men and civilians. Presi- 
dent Harrison, General Hugh Brady, General Covington, who 
was killed in battle in Canada in the fall of 1813, on the St. 
Lawrence river, and Captain Robert Lee, the first Collector of 
the Customs District of Niagara, were all sub-Lieutenants under 
Wayne. General Solomon Van Rensselaer, who was Captain 
of a horse company, and was shot through the body in the 
battle, was for several years Postmaster at Albany, and repre- 
sented that district one or two terms in Congress. Brigadier- 
General James Wilkinson was the second in command under 
Wayne, and subsequently the Commander-in-chief of the 
Northern Armv, in 1813. With all these gentlemen I had the 
honor of a personal acquaintance, and with some of them .1 
Very familiar one. 

During the year 1794, Chief justice Jay was Kent to Lnglaiui 
to represent to that government the absolute necessity and pro- 
prietv on their part, of fully executing the treaty o\ 17S3, b\ 
giving up the forts and withdrawing thtwr troops fcom our right- 
ful territory, winch they had so long unjustly withheld from us, 
and giving us tree access to, and the use of die lakes. Our 


minister accomplished his object, and the treaty then made is 
known as Jay's treaty. 

Notwithstanding this new treaty, two more years passed be- 
fore we obtained full possession of our rights on land and water. 
On the fourth of July, 1796, as I have been told by some of 
those who were present on the occasion, Fort Niagara was 
given up, and the troops withdrawn, as well as those at Lewis- 
ton and Schlosser. On the eleventh of July, Captain Moses 
Porter, with sixty-five men from Fort Miami, on the Maumee, 
took possession of Detroit. 

During all the above time, and up to 1806, the communica- 
tion between New York and the western country was in small 
bateaux or boats, called "Schenectady boats." These were 
propelled by poles up the Mohawk river, wagoned with their 
contents around the short portage at Little Falls, and the longer 
one between Mohawk and Wood creek (until the Inland Lock 
Navigation Company constructed canals and locks at these 
points, which was between 1792 and 1797), and taken down 
this creek into Oneida lake, and through that lake and river 
to Three River Point, where the Oneida unites with the Seneca 
river. These two form the Oswego river. Another portage 
had to be passed at Oswego Falls, and the river was then used 
to Oswego, on the bank of Lake Ontario. Here the property 
was unladen from the boats and put into vessels for Lewiston 
or Qutsenstown. The property and supplies required for the 
troops at Schlosser and Lewiston, were landed at the latter 
place. All for Detroit md other western places was landed at 
Queenstown, and wagoned around the portage to Chippewa. 
Here it was laden into boats and carried to Fort Frie. from 
whence it was distributed in vessels to the several places to 
which it was destined. 

In 1790, the first United States census was taken. The ter- 
ritory extending from the eastern line of«Stcul>en county, ad- 
joining Pennsylvania, to the eastern line of Wayne county, 
resting on Lake Ontario, and westward to Lake Frie. was 



county, Ontario, now subdivided into fourteen counties. The 
entire white population then amounted to one hundred and five 
families, containing one thousand eighty-one persons, located 
as follows: 

Painted Post, 
North Gorham, 
K. Farmington, 
W. do. 
West Palmyra, 
South Bristol, 
North do. 
W. Bloomfiekl, 
E. do. 




ian Lands, Leicester 









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4 J 


5 i 




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6 1 


6 ! 


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Mend on, 











The first American vessel that was permitted to float on these 
great lakes was constructed at Erie, Pennsylvania, and came 
out in 1797. It was called the Washington, and was afterwards 
drawn over the portage from Chippewa to Queenstown. In her 
hrst attempt to navigate Lake Ontario she foundered, and all 
on board were lost. She never was seen or heard of after pass- 
ing the mouth of the river. 

It will be noticed that thus far the name of Buffalo has not 
been mentioned. For simply this reason, there was no Buffalo. 
'There was a Buffalo creek and a Buffalo Indian reservation. 
It was well known to early travelers, that on the bank of this 
creek, not far from Lake Erie, were a few log buildings, where 
rum, silver trinkets, heads and other small articles were m>K1 to 
the Indians. This trade was small; the great mart for Indian 
trade was at British Niagara. Here \wis the headquarters of 
the Indian Department, from which the subsidies given and 
sold to the Indians, were distributed. 


We now approach more directly the early history of Buffalo. 
In 1803. our late worthy, useful, and much respected citizen. 
Doctor Cyrenius, then a young physician in pursuit of 
a place in which to locate himself, came, with his wife, to this 
place. The village not being surveyed, he could not obtain a 
lot. He crossed over to Fort Frie, where a number of troops 
were stationed, and a good many civilians were settled along 
the river. There he found good practice and remained two 

In 1S04,' Joseph Ellicott surveyed out the village plot of 
Buffalo. In 1805, Doctor Chapin left Fort F>ie, came to Buf- 
falo and purchased the lot on the corner of Main and Swan 
streets, extending through to Pearl street, upon which he lived 
until his death, in 183S, and which is now occupied by one of 
his worthy descendants. 

Whether the fact was known to Congress, that the spot upon 
which the great city of Buffalo was to be built, was surveyed 
and laid out into lots, does not appear. If it was, they. did not 
give the name of Buffalo to the customs district which extends 
from the Niagara Falls to the Pennsylvania state line, where it 
joins the District of Erie, but gave it the name of u Buffaloe 
Creek Di>trict." This statute was passed on the fifth of March, 
1805. Although the ground was surveyed where a great city 
was to be built, there were then as yet no materials of which to 
build one. Buffalo was then very much in the condition of the 
man who had a beautiful mill-site on his farm, but had. no 

The State of New York owned a strip of land, one mile wide, 
lying along the bank of the Niagara river, from Fake Erie to 
Fake Ontario, called the "Mile Strip." In 1803 and 1804 this 
land was surveyed according to the following directions ot the 
Surveyor-General : 

One mile square was to be left' at ihe mouth of the river 
where Fort Niagara was situated, for garrison purposes. The 
survev was to commence one mile from Fake Ontario, ami lav 


•out the whole strip into farm lots, averaging one hundred and 
sixty to one hundred and seventy-five acres each, taking into 
consideration the windings of the river, except at the following 
places: At Levviston, a village plot one mile square was to be 
laid out. Here was the lower end of the portage around the 
falls, where the State owned a storehouse and dock. The 
upper end of the portage was on what was known as the Stead- 
man farm. This farm was to be left intact; also the two-mile 
square below and adjoining the Scajaquadda creek, known a> 
the Jones and Parrish tracts — on part of the latter of which, the 
Parrish tract, North Buffalo is built. After crossing the creek, 
four more lots were to be laid out. Then one hundred acres 
above and adjoining these lots were to be surveyed, and called 
the "Ferry Lot." The triangle formed by a line running from 
a point where the south line of the ferry lot struck the mile 
line, to the river, not far from the present water-works, was to 
be reserved for military purposes, should it become necessary. 
The residue of the Mile Strip extending to the village of Buf- 
falo, was to be surveyed into a village plot and called Black 
Rock. This was afterwards more generally known as Upper 
Black Rock. 

In 1805, all the surveyed land, farm and village lots, were 
put up by the Surveyor-General for public sale at Albany. 
Notice was also given that the docks and warehouses at I.ew- 
iston and Schlosser, with the Steadman farm at the latter place, 
would be leased by the State to any responsible party or 
parties, who would take them for the least number of years, 
maintain and keep up the storehouses and docks, and at the 
termination of the lease surrender all the improvements to tiie 
State. At the time of the sale. Augustus and Peter B. Porter. 
my father Benjamin Barton, and my uncle Joseph Annin, who 
surveyed the Mile Strip, attended for the purpose of purchas- 
ing lands along the river, and bidding forjthe lease. In a con- 
versation among themselves, and finding out each other's views 
and purposes, they agreed to form .1 partnership under the 


name of Porter, Barton & Co., and to bid for the portage lease, 
and also to make large purchases of lands. They succeeded 
in obtaining the lease for thirteen years, and purchased the 
land around the falls, and many other farm and village lots. 

The four farm lots, containing over seven hundred acres, 
lying on the south side of Scajaquadda creek, were purchased 
by these four gentlemen and the Rev. John McDonald, of Al- 
bany, father-in-law of Archibald Mclntyre, many years Comp- 
troller of the State, and John McLean, of Orange county, for 
a long time Commissary-General. In 181 1, they had these 
lots surveyed iuto a village plot by Apollos Stephens, and 
called it Black Rock. To distinguish it from the state village 
of Black Rock, it was better known subsequently as Lower 
Black Rock. 

In the fall of 1S05, Augustus Porter came out from Canan- 
daigua and built a saw-mill at the Falls. He removed with his 
family, in the spring of 1806, to Fort Schlosser, and lived four 
or five years in the old English mess-house. That summer 
my father came out (he did not remove his family to Lewiston 
untiTthe spring of 1807), and assisted in erecting a large grist- 
mill at the Falls. As it was a large frame and difficult to raise, 
and as men were scarce, the commandant at Fort Niagara per- 
mitted some of the soldiers at the fort to go up and assist in 
putting up the frame. The same year, Porter, Barton & Co. 
commenced the transportation business over the portage, boat- 
ing up the river to Black Rock; and provided themselves with 
vessels to carry property on the lakes. This was the begin- 
ning of the first regular and connected line o( transportation 
on*the American side, that ever did business on these great 
waters. They were connected with Jonathan Walton & Co.. 
of Schenectady, who sent the property in boats up the Mohawk 
river, down Wood creek and other waters to Oswego; Matthew 
McXair tarried it over Fake ( hua'rio; .Porter, Barton \ Co. 
took it from Lewiston to Black Rock, where they had vessels 
to carrv it over the lakes. 1 went into mv father's warehouse 


in 1807, to make out way-bills, or slips, for the teams carrying 
salt and other property across the portage; and you now see 
in my person the man who was earlier engaged in the com- 
merce of these lakes than any other man now living. 

Before the war of 181 2, Porter, Barton & Co. built a large 
pier and placed upon it a structure sufficiently large to store 
all property requiring it, immediately below Bird Island, above 
the rapids in the Niagara river. Here all the property brought 
from Schlosser in boats was landed, and here the vessels used 
to stop and anchor in dee}) and still water, and discharge and 
take in freight. After the war, they descended the river and 
came to the docks below the rapids. When they were ready 
to go on to the lake, if the wind was not strong enough to take 
them up with their sails, cattle and horses were used to haul 
them up. This was known as the ''horn breeze," in contradis- 
tinction to the 4l ash " or oar breeze, and the natural wind. 

In the winter of 181 2-13, five of the vessels composing part 
of Commodore Perry's fleet were fitted for war vessels out of 
merchantmen, in Scajaquadda creek. In June, 1S13, alter Col. 
Preston with some troops had taken possession of the opposite 
side of the river and the enemy's batteries, these vessels came 
out of the creek into the river, and after waiting two or three 
days, were favored with a sufficiently strong wind, sailed^up 
the rapids, and joined Perry at Erie. 

In 1815, Porter, Barton & Co. built a warehouse at Black 
Rock, nearly opposite the present Queen City Mills. It has 
since been removed, and is now used as a barn anil stables. 

Irf March, 1816, the forwarding ami commission house of 
SiH, Thompson & Co., of which 1 was a member, took [josses- 
sion, and occupied it until March, 1821. It furnished ample 
storage for all the property requiring to be put under shelter, 
going to, or coming from the West, during that time. It would 
hardly afford sufficient storage roofn fo/ the business of the 
present day! The whole business of a season then, did not 
equal in value or quantity, what is now doile in a single da\ o\\ 


our docks, during the busy season of the year. To give you an 
idea how large the business we were doing then appeared to the 
public, we were called a "monopoly" and an " overgrown 
monopoly," not satisfied with doing all the commercial busi- 
ness, but trying to control the politics of the county and dis- 

In 1808, the County of Niagara was set off from Genesee, 
and comprised the territory of the present comities of Erie and 
Niagara. Buffalo was made the county seat, which gave it a 
little help forward, by increasing its trade and population. The 
regular terms of the courts brought in a good many persons, 
not only from different parts of the county, but from other 
counties, who had business in the courts. Court week was a 
big week, and was always welcomed by the citizens, for the 
large trade it brought into the village. 

In June, 181 2, the war with Great Britain commenced. The 
gathering of troops on this frontier, and the expenditure of 
public money during that year, gave a wonderful spur to the 
hopes and exertions of the citizens, and the village presented a 
lively business appearance. In the high exulting feelings of its 
citizens, Buffalo was already a great city. It had overcome its 
worst difficulties, and nothing could stop its onward progress. 

In 1813, the troops were, in a great measure, removed from 
Buffalo and operated in Canada. The impetus given to trade 
the year before continued, and hopes and confidence were 
high. But the year closed most disastrously upon the village 
and its citizens. A large British force, accompanied by many 
Canadian and Western Indians, crossed the Niagara river in 
December and laid waste the entire frontier from Lake Ontario 
to Lake Erie. Buffalo was sacked and plundered, several ^\ 
its citizens killed, ami finally lire was applied, and all the build- 
ings, except two or three, were consumed. This was on the 
thirtieth and thirty-first of Dec embcr,«i Si 3. Here was swifl 
destruction to all high hopes and fancied greatness. The citi- 
zens wore compelled to flee, man\ half-clothed, from the mur- 


derous tomahawk of the Indian, while the pathway of their es- 
cape was lighted by the blaze of their own dwellings. In one 
hour's time, the hard earnings and savings of years were taken 
from them, and many were left with nothing but their naked 
hands and good health with which to provide for the wants of 
their families. The enemy retired to Canada immediately after 
the destruction had been committed. A very severe winter fol- 
lowed the destruction of Buffalo, which caused much distress 
to many of its people who had lost their all, and were compelled 
to seek shelter and food as best they could. 

In the spring of 1814 the people began to return, and a few 
plain buildings were constructed. The army came into Buffalo 
the first week of April, and brought a lnrge trade to the place: 
but, as is always the case, it was followed by a caravan of trad- 
ers almost as numerous as the troops, who more than divided 
this trade with the citizens. Soon were to be seen board shan- 
ties, erected where the First Presbyterian church and St. Paul's 
cathedral now stand, and along Pearl and Main streets. The 
village was literally one of shanties, and every thing had a 
lively-and busy appearance. 

The army remained in Buffalo until the second of July at 
night, when it crossed into Canada. Many of those who for 
trading purposes followed the army into Buffalo, left it when 
the troops did — some to follow them, and some to the places 
from whence they came, — and the citizens, who had by this 
time generally returned, were left more to themselves. Trade 
flourished. The wants of the army required large supplies, 
some of which the country around could furnish, and others 
were brought by land from Albany, and other parts o( the -tare. 
The large sums of money paid to the soldiers, who >cattered it 
freely, made money plenty, and all felt well, because they had 
plenty to do, and got high prices. Buffalo was now certainly 
mounting upwards, and nothing could retard her progress. Her 
people were jubilant, and talked largely of seeing it in twenty 
years the largest city in the state west of New York. 


The war was closed by a treaty of peace, concluded by the 
agents of the contending parties, at Ghent, in December, 1814, 
and subsequently ratified by both governments. The news of 
the signing of the treaty did not reach Buffalo until about the 
seventeenth of February, 18 15, and at the same time we got in- 
telligence of General Jackson's great victory in the battle of 
New Orleans, fought on the eighth of January. All military 
operations on this frontier ceased, the army was removed from- 
here as fast as it could be done, and the last soldier left the 
place in May or June. With them went the hosts of adventur- 
ers that always follow in the track of an army. 

The citizens were again thrown upon their own resources, 
trade was limited, provisions scarce and very high, the great 
flow of money had ceased, and it was becoming hard work for 
many to get along. Many had gotten into debt while money 
was very plenty, and others had not sufficiently recovered from 
their losses consequent upon the entire destruction of the vil- 
lage a year and a half before. This condition of things con- 
tinued for four Or five years. The village, if it increased, in- 
creased so slowly that the change was scarcely perceptible, and 
the buildings erected were of an unpretending kind. Even as- 
late as 1820, the population of Buffalo numbered but two thous- 
and and.ninety-th*ree. Buffalo had as yet no water commerce. 
Although it was a port of entry by law, it was not so in fact, for 
no vessel could get into the harbor. The merchandise brought 
by teams from Albany destined westward, after its arrival here,, 
was taken to Black Rock to be shipped across the lake. 

On the first of November, 1X21, the steamboat W'alk-in-tJn- 
Water, built in 1818, at Black Rock, was driven ashore by a 
storm and wrecked on the beach, about a mile above the light- 
house. During the ensuing winter a new boat called the Sh- 
perio>\ was built on the bank of Buffalo creek above Men 
street. This was the first vessel, certainly of any size, built in 
Buffalo. Although some slight work had been done the year 
before, to open the channel at the mouth o\ the creek, the sand. 


bars partially removed, and the water deepened so as to admit 
small craft to enter, it was not yet in a condition to admit ves- 
sels of a large draft of water. On this account the owners and 
builders of the Superior hesitated about building the boat here, 
fearing she could not get into the lake. They were assured 
that there would be no difficulty; that the spring freshet would 
clear the channel; and further, that a guarantee would be given 
by responsible' citizens to pay one hundred dollars for every 
day the boat was detained on this account after she was ready 
to go on the lake. 

When the boat was nearly ready, much anxiety began to be 
felt about her passing out of the creek. This called forth the 
energy of the citizens. They assembled daily in large numbers 
— merchants, lawyers and laborers alike; and those who could 
not work sent refreshments, — with teams, scrapers, shovels and 
other necessary tools, and labored most industriously to remove 
so much of the bar as to permit the new steamboat to get out 
and return into the harbor. Success was vital to the village, 
and its people put forth their best energies to accomplish it. 
The boat got out after meeting with some obstruction by touch- 
ing the bar; but by carrying out an anchor ahead, and taking 
a turn of the cable around the shaft of the engine, and both 
working together, she got into the lake. After making a few 
miles run, to try the working of the engine, she returned with 
less difficulty. The obstructions at the mouth of the creek 
were steadily worked at until a passage was made sufficiently 
Jarge and deep to admit her going in and out, and she after- 
wards continued to run from this place. 

As the canal was approaching its western termination, the 
question whether it should stop at Black Rock or be continued 
to Buffalo, became a matter of great discussion. Black Roc k 
then had all the American commerce on the lakes. KutYalo 
had comparatively none. I then lived aj black Rock; and. as 
all my property and hopes were there, 1, with the re>t of our 
citizens, thmmht we had a riirht to retain this commerce if we 


could. A violent and bitter controversy arose between the 
two places. Buffalo for a while had the advantage, having two 
newspapers; but we soon set one up at Black Rock, and much 
abuse, misrepresentation, and violent invective passed between 

In 1822, at a meeting of the canal commissioners, they de- 
cided to give us at Black Rock an opportunity of testing, by ex- 
periment, whether a wooden pier filled with stone, placed in the 
swiftest part of the rapids of the river, would stand the current, 
and the rushing down of the ice from the lake when it broke 
up in the spring. We eagerly accepted the proposition, and 
went to work that summer, and did put down what was known 
as the "Experiment Pier," in a very exposed position. When 
the ice in the lake broke up .in the spring and came rushing 
down the river, day after day many citizens of Black Rock and 
others from Buffalo could be found perched on the high bank 
of the river, the former watching intensely the fate of their ex- 
periment, and hoping it would stand, while the latter were anx- 
ious to-see it swept away. The pier passed the trial in safety, 
and this decided the canal commissioners to construct a harbor 
at Black Rock. This decision brought the two villages quite 
on a level. Buffalo had the most people; we at Black Rock ■ 
had the control of the lake commerce, and our numbers were 
increasing daily. As an evidence of this, I will mention that 
the late Captain Sheldon Thompson, his brother Harry and 
myself purchased in 1823, from the Holland Land Company, 
one hundred and thirty-three and one-third feet on the creek, 
where Central Reed's elevator now stands, for about one hun- 
dred and seventy dollars. In after years this ground was sold 
for forty thousand dollars. 

In 1825, the population of Buffalo was two thousand >i\ 
hundred. After all these struggles and trials, the opening o\ 
the Grand Erie Canal connecting the givat lakes of the We>t 
with the Atlantic ocean was completed, and put courage into 
the hearts of the people. Joy and gladness were to be seen in 


the countenances of all. Notwithstanding, the struggle to live 
and move ahead was still to continue. The opening of the 
canal was a most marked era in the history of Buffalo. It laid 
the foundation of a great city: but the materials for building it 
were not in existence. The great West was comparatively an 
unbroken wilderness, and although commerce was considerably 
increased by the canal, it was yet quite limited, and for a short 
time divided with Black Rock. 

In May, 1826, the pier forming the harbor at that place, con- 
structed without proper care, gave way near where the ferry 
now is. and forever blasted the prospects of making that local- 
ity a harbor for a large commercial business. 

In the spring of 1S27, I left Black Rock, came to Buffalo. 
and formed a partnership with the late Judge Samuel Wilke- 
son, in the forwarding business. The Judge had been amongst 
the foremost in the controversy between Buffalo and Black 
Rock, and although many hard things had been said about him 
in our paper, he remembered with unkindly feelings nothing that 
occurred in the season of anger and strife. He had a mind of 
large grasp, quick perception, indomitable energy; never spar- 
ing time or money so long as a possibility existed of accom- 
plishing any great object he undertook. He may emphatically 
be numbered with the leading minds that laid the foundation of 
this city. The partnership lasted two years. The Judgv - 
to me: "This is a poor business, not furnishing sufficient sup- 
port for two families; I am not acquainted with the busines>, 
and you have been in it all your life; I will retire: you take the 
warehouse and dock, pay me two hundred and fifty dollars a 
year rent, and go on for yourself." I told him I would take 
the warehouse if he would paint it. He did so. and I 
tinued the business alone until the end of the year 1835, at the 
same rent. While the partnership continued, and afterwards 
when I was alone, we had the agcncy.of a large line of boats 
on the canal, and vessels on the lake: yet so scarce was western 
freight that it was difficult to get a full boat-load, although the 


boats were then of light tonnage. A few tons of freight was all 
that we could furnish each boat to carry to Albany. This they 
would take in, and fill up at Rochester; which place, situated 
in the heart of the wheat-growing district of Western New 
York, furnished nearly all the down freight that passed on the 
canal. Thus we lived and struggled on until 1830. Our pop- 
ulation had increased largely, and numbered that year six thous- 
and and thirty-one. 

In the fall of 1831, I received from Cleveland one thousand 
bushels of wheat, which was sold to Bird & McPherson, and 
ground into flour at their mill at Black Rock Dam. The next 
winter I made an arrangement with the late Colonel Ira A. 
Blossom, the resident agent of the Holland Land Company, to 
furnish storage for all the wheat the settlers should bring in, 
towards payment on their land contracts with the Company. 
The whole amount did not exceed three thousand bushels. 

On the second of April, 1821, the present County of Erie was 
set off from Niagara county. In 1832, the village of Buffalo 
was incorporated as a city. The same year, the Ohio canal, 
connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio river, was completed, 
which gave us a little more business. In 1833, emigrants from 
the older portions of our country and from, Europe began to 
pour into Illinois, and some into Wisconsin. This gave a large 
increase in canal and lake business up, but there was little or 
no increase in down freight. Northern Ohio was then the 
only portion of the great West that had any surplus agricultural 
products to send to an eastern market. A large portion of this 
surplus was sent to Illinois and Wisconsin, and consumed by 
the large number of emigrants then flowing into those states. 
The continually-increasing numbers of emigrants required pro- 
visions to be imported into, instead 01 exported from, the far 
West, for several years. So small was the lake commerce m 
down freight, that all the Hour, wheat and*corn received at this 
port, and shipped on the canal in 1835 for an eastern market. 
was equivalent to only five hundred and forty-three thousand 


eight hundred and fifteen bushels of grain. Since then, there 
has been received and sent forward, through the same channel 
and by railroad, more than sixty millions of bushels of grain in 
a single season. 

In 1833, a little stir commenced in land operations, which 
increased the next year, and in 1835 became a perfect fever, 
and swallowed up almost everything else. Nearly every person 
who had any enterprise, got rich from buying and selling land; 
using little money in these transactions, but paying and receiv- 
ing in pay, bonds and mortgages to an illimitable amount. The 
city was now rapidly increasing in numbers and wealth, and 
no one had the remotest idea that anything could happen to 
interrupt our constant progress onward to the state of a great 
city. All great danger was passed. We were now so strong in 
numbers — our population having increased in 1835 to fifteen 
thousand six hundred and sixty-one — and had become so 
wealthy, that any set-back to our progress was an idea that was 
inconceivable, and considered by many ridiculous. For about 
half trie year 1836, the land fever raged more violently than at 
any former period, and larger fortunes were made in a single 
day in paper obligations, than at any time previous. 

A single instance will suffice to show how rapidly land was 
bought and sold at that time. In 1815, 1 purchased at Black- 
Rock, for two hundred and fifty dollars, two lots — one, two- 
thirds of an acre, lying between Niagara street and the river; 
the other, a five-acre lot, about half a mile distant. In the fall 
of 18-35, hand in that village rose to very high prices, and I be- 
gan to think my lots worth three thousand dollars. I left the 
city early in February, and did not return until the twentieth 
day of April. The next morning, in walking down Main street, 
a man met me opposite Townscml Hall, who inquired what 1 
would take for my two lots. I replied, "Six thousand dollars.*' 
We parted. Continuing on down street, soon another asked 
me the same question. I replied in the language oi that day, 

I can't now give you a price, having just given another a re- 


fusal of these lots until twelve o'clock, to-morrow, for seven 
thousand five hundred dollars. He immediately replied,, ''I 
will take them if the other does not." I passed on a little 
further, when I was hailed by a man on the opposite side of the 
street, who came running over to me, inquiring, "Will you sell 
your land, and what are your terms and price?" I replied, 
"Twenty thousand dollars; ten per cent, down, the balance in 
four annual payments, with interest." He quickly replied, sav- 
ing, "Say six annual payments, and I will take it." I assented, 
walked into an office, received ray two thousand dollars, and 
next day gave a deed and took a bond and mortgage for the 
balance. Thus in going along the street about fourteen rods, I 
raised my price fourteen thousand dollars, and then sold. 

In 1837, a great mercantile revulsion took place. The banks 
suspended, individuals failed, securities, supposed to be based 
on sound bottom, proved worthless; and from a supposed 
wealthy condition we were dashed suddenly to comparative 
poverty _Our most industrious, enterprising and useful busi- 
ness citizens found themselves bound down by mountains of 
obligations,, which they had assumed in times of speculation, 
that no mortal exertions of theirs.could clear them from. Those 
who held these obligations were as badly, if not worse, off than 
those who owed them. They could realize nothing from them, 
and the change that suddenly-acquired wealth always brings 
about in the style and manner of living — creating endless wants 
and desires that continually grow, as the means of gratifying 
them are to be found — made it difficult for many to realize 
and get along under their changed condition. The false pride 
engendered, and the prospects of their children, no longer ex- 
pectant heirs of large fortunes, were alike scattered to the winds, 
and several years of their after-life was spent in grumbling over 
their losses. 

In 1840, our population had increased rt> eighteen, thousand 
two hundred and thirteen. The products of the West now be- 
u r an to come forward in larger volume, and prices ruled very low : 


but the increase of business again revived hopes, and industry 
and economy were strictly applied. 

In 1842, the national bankrupt law came to our relief, and 
removed an immense weight of worthless obligations, that bore 
down and crippled the exertions of a large number of useful 
citizens. No sooner were they set at liberty than they applied 
their energies with renewed industry to legitimate business; and 
soon a change for the better was seen and felt again in Buffalo. 
The city continued to prosper, increasing in numbers; business 
and real wealth. In 1845, our population had increased to 
twenty-nine thousand seven hundred and thirty-three; and the 
receipts of produce from the West that year were equivalent to 
fifteen million bushels of grain. In 1S50, our population had 
reached in numbers forty-two thousand two hundred and 
sixty-one. In 1855, after our corporation limits had been en- 
larged, and the villages of Black Rock and the Plains brought 
within it, our numbers were increased to seventy-four thousand 
four hundred and fourteen. In i860, this had reached eighty- 
one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine. By the state 
census of 1865, our population was ascertained to be ninety- 
four thousand five hundred and two. 

I have not deemed it necessary to say much in detail about 
the city* since 1845. That seemed to me the turning-point. 
From that time we have been steadily and safely moving on- 
ward and upward, and there is no apprehension felt or ex- 
pressed, that we shall ever again be driven and tossed about 
as we have been, by any fortuitous circumstance that might 

- Heretofore, we have built our hopes of success and greatness 
on our commercial advantages, which have done everything for 
us; and I trust no exertions will be wanting to continue and 
increase this important branch of business to our city. As our 
population and solid wealth has'incr^ased, labor has become 
more abundant, and we now have large manufactories oi vari- 
ous and profitable kinds which, working together with our 


commercial business, furnish employment for a very large 
number of persons during the whole year. 

In tracing, as I have attempted to do, something of the early 
history of Buffalo, I have shown that our city is not a very an- 
cient one; that in its early beginning, and for many years af- 
terwards, great difficulties and embarrassments had to be met 
and overcome; and that its present prosperous condition is not 
alone the work of the early settlers. They laid the foundation; 
they planted and watered the seeds of our great commerce at 
an early day, from which we have derived so much benefit; but 
they have been greatly aided in pushing on this work by those 
who are annually coming among us. It now remains with those 
who will soon take our places, to see that Buffalo shall never 
again retrograde or stand still, for want of energy on their part 
to keep up her march onward. 

I have said much about the early Indian difficulties in Ohio. 
It may not at first strike you how much Buffalo was interested 
in them ; _ Without the settlement and prosperity of the West, 
Buffalo could never grow; and the West this day would pre- 
sent a very different condition of things, if the Grand Erie 
Canal had never been constructed. Thus we are, and must 
always continue to be, commercially and financially connected. 
I trust that no circumstance will arise that shall ever break 14) 
or seriously impair the mutual interest and understanding of 
both sections, that now so happily exist. 

With your permission, I will vary the monotony of my ex- 
tended remarks, by relating an anecdote about the celebrated 
Red Jacket. All who were acquainted with Red Jacket know 
that he understood and spoke but few words of English. He 
had an interpreter, called Major Jack Berry; a stout-built, fat 
Indian, with long, black hair, which he kept tied, cue-fashion, 
and which, with his face, was well greased; a perfect shadow 
of Jacket, and who, following him everywhere, was the medium 
■of communication between Jacket and the white people. On 
.a certain occasion thev called at David Rees' blacksmith shop, 

i 7 6 


which stood on the site of the present Post Office building, and 
Jacket, through his interpreter, gave Rees very particular in- 
structions how he wished a tomahawk made. Rees said he 
understood what he wanted, and would make it for him. In 
due time Jacket and the Major called upon Rees, who present- 
ed the instrument he had made. It did not fully meet the 
wishes of Jacket, and he again, through the Major, more fully 
explained how' he wanted it made. Rees again undertook the 
job. After a while Jacket called again. Rees presented him 
his new work, which Jacket found great fault with, telling Rees 
that, in attempting a second time to execute his order, he had 
made a worse blunder than at first — that he was a stupid fellow 
— that he did -not understand, nor know how to execute, an 
order when given to him — that he would not trouble him with 
another description of what he wanted made, but would bring 
him a pattern, and he might try to make something like it. 
Jacket brought the pattern, and Rees took it without saying a 
word, and promised to have the tomahawk done at a certain 
time. Jacket called at the time stated, and Rees handed him 
the pattern and the copy he had made. The instant Jacket 
took them in his hand, he saw he was sold; he had forgotten to 
make an eye in the pattern, and Rees had made an exact copy. 
He threw them down indignantly, and uttering the exclama- 
tion, " I'gh !" left the shop without saying another word. 

Within the last two months 1 haw made liriny enquiries, and 
taken much pains to ascertain as correctly as I possibly could, 
who are now living that resided in Buffalo or on the imme- 
diate frontier, before the war <»! [812, m\(\ who now reside 
here. Without doubt, this list i- defective; there may be some 
names left off that should be on it. but they cannot be many. 
The following is the list which I h>\e maue: 

Levi Allen, 

Mr-. I "c. .;!•!.. A 
Dan I! 

\h->. Kli/alwih Jone 
* : S \ 
JeM< Ken-limn, 



Mrs. Benjamin Ridwell, 
John Bid well, 
Mrs. Mary P. Burt, 
James L. Barton, 
Joseph A. Barton, 
Lester Brace and wife, 
Mrs. Aurelia Bern is, 
Robert H. Best, 
George Cotton, 
Elizabeth Cotton, 
Maiy Cotton, 
Lester H. Cotton, 
Benjamin C. Caryl, 
Mrs, Sally Davison, 
Elijah D. Efner, 
Mrs. Esther P. Fox, 
Hiram Griffin, 
Harmon Griffin, 
Mrs. Abby Heacock, 
Mrs. Mary Harris, 
Mrs. William Hodge, Si- 
Mrs. Sabrina Howes, 
Miss Sarah Hodge, 
Philander Hodge, 
Valorus Hodge, 
Benjamin Hodge, 
William Hodge, Jr., 
Mr>. Sally Jud.-on, 

Mrs. Mary Lord, 
Henry Lovejoy, 
Frederick Miller, 
Mrs. Samuel II. Macy, 
Mrs. Jane McDonald, 
Mrs. Lydia Pomeroy, 
Mrs. Doctor Pratt, 
Alanson Palmer, 
Samuel Pratt, 
Lucius H. Pratt, 
Henry Roop, 
Mrs. Lewis Stevens, 
Mrs. Pamelia Sidway, 
Mrs. A. M. C. Smith, 
Mrs. M. B. Sherwood, 
Mrs. O. G. Steele, 
James Sloan, 
Lucius Storrs and wife, 
Le Grand St. John, 
Thomas J. Smith, 
human Smith, 
Harry Thompson, 
Mrs. Louisa M. Weed, 
Mrs. Doctor Warner, 
Mrs. E. Walden, 
William Wells, 
Mrs. Foster Young, 
William F. Young. 

Here is a little company of sixty-seven per>ons, all that arc 
left of the earliest settlers of Buffalo. They are living wit- 
nesses of the waste that time makes with the human family. 
They yet linger amongst us, but are almost lost sight of among 
the tens of thousands who now throng our busy streets. Manx 
*" these persons are very aged, and it cannot he expected they 
will remain much longer. All of them are well advanced in 
life. Soon they will all disappear, and you will behold them 
no more. It is to he hoped, when the departure of the last 
surviving one takes place, it will he with more happy reflections 
than befell the lot of the noble Indian win* after his family had 
•been butchered by Colonel Cresop, and the friends and com- 
panions o\ his early days had all gone to the "happy hunting- 



ground," in contemplating Ins desolate and broken-hearted 
condition, exclaimed with his dying breath, — "Who is LEFT 






I first saw two of these young men, Isaac and Nelson, in 
September, 1824. They came into the village of Buffalo with 
a load of lumber, drawn by an ox team. I was standing with 
the late Hirifm Pratt, at the corner of Main and Swan streets. 
and they came along with their team, bound for their home in 
Boston, in this county. They prided themselves on their no- 
toriety. Each one had on an old-fashioned bonnet, in place 
of a hat or cap; and they were distinguished by many other 
p cu'liarities that made them the subject of remark by onr citi- 
zens. They were very profane, and called one oi their oxen 
"God Almighty" and the other "Jesus Christ;" ami at the time 
I saw them were evidently much intoxicated. I then observed 
to Mr. Pratt that human life would not be of much value in 
their hands. ■ 

*J)ied. March 28th, 187*. 


■ I next saw them after their arrest for the murder of John 
Love. Isaac, the youngest, was first arrested upon suspicion. 
brought to Buffalo and confined in the jail; and after a few 
days' search the body of Love was found, and then Israel and 
Nelson were arrested and also brought to the jail. 

Wray S. Littlefield was the Sheriff, and when he came into 
Buffalo with them he drove to R. Hargrave Lee's store on 
Main street, where Julius Francis now keeps a drug store, and 
sent for General Potter, the then District Attorney. From 
thence they were conveyed to the old stone jail erected in 1810, 
on Washington street, where the Darrovv block now stands. 
The jail was a two-story stone building, with a high basement; 
and a flight of steps ascended from the sidewalk to the door. 

The yard around the jail was surrounded with wooden spiles 
or pickets from fourteen to sixteen feet high, after the fashion 
of old forts in the early days of our country. 

Isaac was at the time confined in the debtors' apartment, as 
there had been no particular proof against him, and he insisted 
that LovtMiad not been murdered, hut had left the country for 
fear of being arrested on account of debt. When his two 
brothers had been brought into the room where he was, and 
General Potter informed him that the dead body had been 
found, shot through, he turned pale and lifeless, and made no 
reply, but covered his head with his bed blanket. They were 
then placed in separate cells to await the action of the grand 
jury, and a true bill was found, and the} - were tried on the 
twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-third days o\ April. 
1825, in the old court-house in Buffalo, before lion. Reuben H. 
> alworth, then Circuit Judge, and afterwards Chancellor of 
the State. General Potter conducted the trial as District At- 
torney, and Thomas C Love with other counsel defended. 
The proceedings ot the trial were full)- reported by James 
Sheldon; and a copy can be seen atjthe Young Men's Asso- 
ciation moms. Judge Walworth sentenced them to be hung, 
June 1 ;th, J825. 


During the time of their confinement, I resided on the east 
side of Washington street in the building now occupied by a 
bonnet factory, and next door below Doctor Blanchard's; 
which residence I commenced occupying in 1819, about fifty 
years ago; and I had almost daily intercourse with the unfor- 
tunate young men. Isaac was but twenty-one years of age, 
Israel twenty-three, and Nelson twenty-five. The Sheriff had 
also directed me to furnish a guard of four men from my mili- 
tary company, to guard the jail during the time. Walter W. 
Porter, now of Buffalo, was one of the guard. The prisoners 
were always cheerful, and seldom alluded to their awful situa- 
tion, but continued their jokes and free and easy conversation 
to the day. of execution. 

The extraordinary circumstances attending the murder, and 
the fact that the prisoners were young men and brothers, and 
were to be executed on one scaffold, excited public attention 
and drew together an immense concourse of people from 
Western Ne\v York and Canada. 

On the morning of the seventeenth day of June, 1S25, the 
military paraded under the directions of the Sheriff, in order 
that the law should not be defeated of its victims. 

General Potter had command of his regiment of militia to 
which my company was attached, and that ol Captain Alanson 
Palmer: my company having the right of the regiment. Cap- 
tain S. Mathews and Captain Nathaniel Yosburgh each com- 
manded a troop of horse. Captain Crary was in command of a 
company of artillery, and Captain Rathbun of a rifle company. 

The troops formed on Washington street, opposite the jail, in 
a hollow square; and as the jail door opened Sheriff l.ittletield 
came first," bearing the sword of justice; then came the pris- 
oners, Isaac first, attended by Sheriffs; officers and all marched 
down the steps into the hollow square, and thus were protected 
from the surge and sway of the immense and excited multitude. 

They were dressed in the usual manner o\ malefactors to 
be executed, with white caps and shrouds. The procession 


was then formed, the guard surrounding the prisoners. A cart 
immediately preceded them, carrying the three coffins destined 
soon to receive their lifeless bodies. 

They appeared sedate and calm, and seemed to have sum- 
moned all their fortitude to support them on this occasion. 
As the band of music commenced playing a slow and plaintive 
air, the prisoners took the step upon the ground, and marched 
off with firm and regular tread. On their right and left were 
ranged the military, infantry and cavalry, marching each in 
single file, the whole surrounded by a countless throng of silent 
spectators. In this manner the procession moved on up 
Washington street and across the park, then open ground, 
and down Court street to the place of execution; forming one 
of the most solemn processions perhaps ever witnessed. 

The scaffold was erected in Court street about one hundred 
and fifty feet east of Morgan street, and near the residence of 
the late Judge Wilkeson; but at that time there were no houses 
in the vicinity, and the land lay open to common use. 

The brothers marched up into the scaffold with a firm tread; 
and when all were seated and order prevailed in the multi- 
tude, the Rew Mr. Fillmore made a short address and offered 
a prayer, and was followed in prayer by the Rev. Mr. Story. 

The prisoners then arose, and after shaking hands with 
friends, exchanging adieux with each other, and the officers 
of the law and ministers of religion, the halters were adjusted, 
their arms pinioned, they took their places on the fatal drop, 
when, at fifteen minutes before two o'clock, the Sheriff, with 
1. s sword, cut the rope, and they were launched into eternity. 
■ They died without a struggle, and after hanging half an 
hour their bodies were lowered into their coffins and given to 
their friends, who removed them to the town of Boston for 

Thus ended this exciting public execution, attended In a 
multitude estimated at from twenty-five to thirty thousand 


The father of the condemned men was under arrest at the 
time for the same crime, and witnessed the execution from the: 
steps of the old court-house. 





Ladies and Gentlemen: 

In attempting to furnish my contribution to the purposes this 
society has in view, I thought I could do the most acceptable- 
service by making a connected narrative of the events which 
took place in this locality during the late war with Great Britain. 
Hut 1 have¥ound that such a narrative, in complete detail, will 
extend far beyond the limits which are prescribed to a public 
address. I have, therefore, been obliged to limit myself to the 
more important of those events; and I ask your attention this 
evening c. 'etly to a description of the various encounters with 
the. enenay, which occurred within the present corporate bound- 
aries of Buffalo; and also of the siege o\ Kort Erie, and the mem- 
orable sortie by which the siege was raised. 

On Friday, junt: 26th, 1812. a messenger, probably sent by 
the British representative at Washington, arrived in Lewiston 
carrying to the Canadian government 'information that the 
United States had declared war against Great Britain. Hos- 



tilities commenced with singular promptitude. On the follow- 
ing day, J une 27th, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the schooner 
Connecticut, Captain Johnson, owned by Mr. Peter H. Colt, of 
Black Rock, lay off the mouth of Buffalo creek, waiting for a 
favorable wind. At this time two row-boats, containing an 
armed force of forty men, put out from Fort Erie, and rapidly 
approached the vessel. Captain Johnson immediately weighed 
anchor, and endeavored to reach Sturgeon Point. The breeze 
was light and against him. The boats soon overtook him, and 
the Connecticut became a British prize, the first one taken upon 
- Lake Erie. Many inhabitants of the village saw this occur- 
rence, and, although General Porter arrived from the east the 
same day, to most of them it was the first information they had 
that war had been declared. 

In 181 2, Buffalo contained about a hundred houses and hve 
hundred inhabitants. The buildings were scattered along what 
is now Main street, from Goodell street to the site of the Man- 
sion House. A few tenements stood upon the side streets. 
On what we call the Terrace was a low bluff, between which 
and the\creek stretched a morass; covered with bushes and rank 
grass, exposing to view the lake and river. From all other sides 
the forest crowded close upon the little hamlet. 

The long threatened war had excited grave apprehension lest 
the neighboring Indians should side with the English. Mr. 
Erastus Granger, the government agent, hastened to ascertain 
their purposes. A Council was held June 29th with the prin- 
cipal men of- the Six Nations, and in a printed circular issued 
immedi ely, Mr. Granger announced that there was no cause 
for apprehending any danger from the Indians. 

Warlike preparations were immediately made. Major Fred- 
erick Miller was appointed commandant of the forces at Black 
Rock, and Colonel Swift at Eewiston. An e\pres> was des- 
patched to Canandaigua for •arm* and ammunition. Some 
companies of militia were ordered en Masse to Black Rock, 
and the light infantry company of Captain Wells and the mil 

THE WAR OF 1812. 187 

company of Captain Hull were embodied to protect Buffalo. 

The English threw up batteries at Waterloo, and the Ameri- 
cans constructed some earthworks at Black Rock. I have en- 
deavored to ascertain the location and armament of the bat- 
teries which were built by our forces during the war, and I will 
here state all that I have been able to learn about them; with- 
out reference, however, to the time when they were built. On 
the south side of Conjaquadies creek, and near its mouth, was 
the sailors' battery, in which were mounted three long 32- 
pounders. On the site of Mr. Wm. A. Bird's house, and occu- 
pying that and the adjoining lot, was a battery defended by 
three guns. On the ground now occupied by the stables of the 
Niagara Street Railroad Company was Fort Tompkins, the 
largest of the fortifications. Its armament consisted of six or 
seven pieces of different calibre. In the rear of the fort, and 
extending across the road, was a range of sheds, used as bar- 
racks. Further south (not far from the water-works), and at 
the bottom of a ravine which may still be seen, was a mortar 
battery, armed with one 8-inch mortar, popularly called the 
" Old Sow." On the northerly corner of the Fort Porter grounds 
stood a light earthwork, in which was one 24-pounder gun. On 
the Terrace, in the village, near the present Western hotel, was 
a breastwork, sometimes called a battery. I cannot learn that 
it was ever armed. It may have been temporarily armed, but. 
if so, only with field-pieces. These works were intended to 
cover the river and the opposite shore. Except the sailors' 
battery, none c ' them offered any obstacle to a force advanc- 
ing on the village from the north. 

Brigadier-! ieneral William Wads worth was the first general 
officer in command of this frontier, but was soon succeeded by 
Brigadier-! leneral Hull, who arrived July 24th. escorted by a 
body guard consisting of a detachment of fifteen o( the Rast 
Bloomfield Light Horse, commanded by Sergeant Houghton. 
This officer gave way to Major-l ieneral Stephen Van Rensse- 
laer, who arrived on the tenth of August, and assumed command. 


During the first months of the war there was little to mark 
its progress. The files of the Buffalo Gazette furnish but 
meager items. We are told that the troops are under admira- 
ble discipline; that they are in good health; that the cooking 
excites much complaint; that occasionally persons straggling 
into Canada are captured, and suspicious persons are arrested 
here as spies. Early in August a rumor ran through the camps 
that the enemy had occupied (/rand Island. The island he- 
longed to the Six Nations, and the Senecas at once assembled 
for the purpose of consulting Mr. Granger upon the subject. 
It seems to me that the speech of Red Jacket on this occasion 
is remarkably suggestive of Indian experience. The chief 
said: "Brother, you have told us that we had nothing to do 
with the war that has taken place between you and the British: 
but we find that the war has come to our doors. Our property 
is taken, possession of by the British and their Indian friends. 
It is necessary for us to take up the business, defend our prop- 
erty and drive the enemy from it. If we sit still upon our 
seats, and take no measure of redress, the British ( according 
to the custom of you white people) will hold it by conquest; 
and should you conquer the Canadas you will claim it upon 
the same principles, as conquered from the British. We, there- 
fore, request permission to go with our warriors, drive off 
bad people, and take possession of our land." The rumor 
proved to be false, and the Seneca warriors were reserved tor 
other fields. 

August 13th the first shot was fired from the river batteries. 
The gun \. .\s discharged, without orders, by a party o\ soldiers. 
-The ball struck a few feet from an earthwork on the other side, 
but did no execution. 

Not until the ninth of October, was any considerable enter- 
prise against the foe attempted. For some time before, the brig 
AJamSy of six guns, taken by the English at Detroit, and the 
schooner Caledonia^ of two guns, belonging to the Northwestern 
Company, had lain at anchor near Kori Erie. Farmer's Brother, 

THE WAR OF /Sis. 189 

the famous Seneca chief, first suggested to Lieutenant Elliott, 
of the navy, that these vessels might be cut out. Acting on 
this suggestion, Elliott prepared an expedition for the purpose. 
At one o'clock in the morning of Friday, October 9th, he set 
out with three boats; one commanded by himself, containing 
fifty men; the second, commanded by Lieutenant Watts, sailing- 
master, containing fifty men; and the third, under the charge 
of Captain Cvrenius Chapin, with a crew of six men. Captain 
Sloan,* still living at Black Rock, piloted the flotilla. Elliott 
silently approached the enemy's vessels, and at three o'clock 
both were boarded simultaneously; the crews being surprised, 
and surrendering after a short resistance. In the space of ten 
minutes the prisoners were secured, and the captured vessels 
under weigh. The wind was not strong enough to enable them 
to make head against the current, and Elliott, in the Adams, 
followed by the Caledonia, was obliged to run down the river, 
under a heavy fire from the enemy. The Caledonia was beached 
at Black Rock. The Adams anchored about four hundred 
yards from one of the British batteries; upon which, as long as 
her ammunition lasted, she maintained a rapid and effective 
fire. Efforts were vainly made to work the vessel over to our 
shore; and as the guns of the enemy threatened to sink her, 
Elliott cut her cable and made sail; but was soon brought up 
upon Squa\* Island, where he abandoned her. A party of the 
enemy took possession, but were soon driven off, with heavy 
loss, by the American artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Win- 
field Scott. During the entire day the poor ship was battered 
by the guns 01 both sides; and was so injured that she could 
not be floated. A few nights after. Captain Chapin brought off 
a long ii-pounder from the Adams, and the next day Lieu- 
tenant Watts brought off another. These guns were placed in 
our earthworks, and were the heaviest-mounted up to that time. 
We captured fifty-eight men, including three commissioned o(- 

* Died March sth, r868. 


fleers; and recaptured twenty-seven American prisoners, who 
were confined on board the vessels. 

Our loss was, one killed and four wounded. The residents 
of Buffalo, who took part in the affair, were Captain Chapin, 
John McComb, John Tower, Thomas Davis, Peter Overstocks 
and James Sloan, who are complimented for "their soldier and 
sailor-like conduct." The Caledonia belonged to the North- 
western Company, and was loaded with furs. She afterwards 
was one of Perry's fleet, and took part in his memorable engage- 
ment. This bold enterprise did not long pass unnoticed. On 
the thirteenth, the British batteries opened a heavy fire upon 
Black Rock, which was continued with vigor through the dav. 
Our guns were so light that but little return was made. A 
barrel of old Pittsburg whisky in the barracks, behind Fort 
Tompkins, was blown up. Several houses were struck, and one 
man, a negro, who belonged to the marines, was killed. 

The unfortunate engagement at Queenstown, which occurred 
the same day as the bombardment, caused the withdrawal of 
General Van Rensselaer from the command on this frontier. 
He was succeeded by General Alexander Smyth, of Virginia, 
who at once issued an earnest proclamation, in which he stig- 
matized his predecessor, in the spirit which we have seen in our 
own days, as a "popular man, destitute alike of theory and ex- 
perience in the art of war," and promised that in a few days 
the troops under his command would plant the stars and stripes 
in Canada. Earnest preparations were made for the invasion, 
and the forces at Buffalo, already large, were increased. 

Over thr » thousand five hundred men were now collected 
jiere, and boats enough to pass thirty-five hundred over the 
river at once. On the twenty-seventh of November, the troop- 
were ordered to embark the following morning at the navy- 
yard, near the mouth of the Conjaquadies creek. At three in. 
the morning two preparatory expeditions started. One, under 
Captain King, with Lieutenant Angus, of the navy, and a bod) 
of sailors, were ordered to take and render useless the batteries 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 191 

opposite Black Rock; and a second detachment, under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Boerstler, was to capture a guard, and destroy 
the bridge over Frenchman's creek. The whole movement 
was under the command of Colonel Winder. p 

Boerstler succeeded in landing some of his men near French- 
man's creek, and routed the British guard; but upon approach- 
ing the bridge, was informed by a prisoner that Orrasby was in 
full march to resist him, and retired without accomplishing his 
purpose, or attempting to co-operate with the other detachment. 

Of Ring's ten boats, but four reached their destination. In 
these were the seamen and about seventy infantry. The sail- 
ors rushed forward with their pikes and cutlasses, stormed the 
Red House, and threw two pieces of artillery into the river. 
King, with the infantry, marched upon the two exterior bat- 
teries, carried the first, and found the second deserted. He 
spiked the cannon, and destroyed the carriages in both. Fie 
then returned to the shore, but found that the boats were gone. 
Angus, with his sailors, had come back from their victory, and 
not seeing their companions, supposed they had embarked, and 
went off, taking away all the boats. King, however, succeeded 
in finding two of the enemy's boats, in which he embarked his 
prisoners, and as many of his soldiers as they would carry. 
He, with the rest of his command, were taken prisoners. The 
return of Ang*ts and Boerstler, without knowing what had be- 
fallen their comrades, induced Colonel Winder to go in search 
of them. But he found the English in force, and returned, 
after suffering considerable loss. 

Notwithstan '<ng these mischances, the expedition had been 
substantially successful. All of the enemy's heavy guns had 
been spiked, and Smyth might fairly anticipate a safe landing. 
He was in bed when the firing began, and after breakfasting 
leisurely, he repaired to the navy-yard. A part of the regulars 
were in the boats, and the rest oi the army* under arms. By two 
o'clock, half the force was embarked, and boats for a thousand 
more were at hand. The day wore on, but the order to ad- 


vance was not given. The men began to murmur. Finally, 
late in the afternoon, after having sent to the British com- 
mander a request to surrender, Smyth ordered the men to dis- 

The next morning another proclamation, more terrible than 
any of its predecessors, was issued. Among other things, the 
general said to his men: " To-morrow, at eight o'clock, all the 
corps will be at the navy-yard, ready to embark. The general 
will be on board. Neither rain, snow nor frost will prevent the 
embarkation. The music will play martial airs. Yankee 
Doodle will be the signal to get under way. The landing will 
be made in spite of cannon. Hearts of war ! to-morrow will 
be memorable in the annals of the United' States." But the 
delay had given the enemy opportunity to reoccupy their bat- 
teries and remount their guns. A direct attack had become 
hazardous. Porter remonstrated against it; and at his sugges- 
tion, the expedition was postponed another day, and it was re- 
solved to cross by night, and land five miles below Waterloo. 
Again the willing soldiers filled the boats; the martial airs were 
played'; everything was in readiness, but the familiar strain of 
Yankee Doodle was not heard. Hours passed, and at daybreak 
it was announced that the expedition was abandoned. Inde- 
scribable confusion followed. The men were beside themselves 
with ragt". They broke ranks, discharged their muskets in the 
air, and some of them threw away their arms and went home. 
Thus closed the campaign of 1 8 1 2 on this frontier. Were it 
not for oiir later experience, we would think it impossible for 
greater c grace and humiliation to befall a nation. 

In the year 1813 this locality was not made the base of any 
important military operation. Jul}- 1 1 th ot this year the briti>h 
made their first attempt to capture the village of buffalo ami 
Black Rock. On Smulav morning, just before daylight, Colonels 
Bishop and Warren, with about twf> hundred and fifty men. 
crossed the Niagara below Squaw Island. They marched to 
Conjacpiadies creek, and occupied the navy-yard before they 

THE WAR OF 1812. 193 

were discovered. The militia detachments at Black Rock were 
surprised, and retreated up the beach. The enemy took pos- 
session of the village, fired the sailors' barracks and block- 
house at the navy-yard, and also the barracks at Fort Tompkins. 
They dismounted and spiked three 12 -pounders, and took away 
three field-pieces and one 12-pounder. They also captured a 
large amount of whisky and other stores. General Porter then 
lived on the site now occupied by the house of the Rev. Mr. 
Robie. the chaplain of the twenty- first regiment. His house- 
keeper saw the enemy coming up the road, and warned the 
general, who had barely time to run to the barn and throw him- 
self upon his horse. He spurred into the woods, went across 
to what is now North street, and so to Buffalo. 

Major Adams was in command at Black Rock, and at once 
sem an express to Buffalo for reinforcements. A small force 
was soon gathered consisting of one hundred regulars, under 
Captain Cummings; the same number of militia, under Major 
Adams: thirty volunteers from the Plains, under Captain Hull: 
a company from Buffalo, commanded by Captain Bull, and 
thirty Indians, under the leadership of the redoubtable Farmer's 
Brother. The militia, Major Adams, formed the left: the reg- 
ulars and Buffalo company the center, and the men from the 
Plains with the Indians were posted on the right. The enemy 
were found in Mne of battle near Fort Tompkins, the present 
site oi the street railroad stables. The left, led by General 
Porter, began the attack: vigorously supported by the Indians 
on the right, who were posted in the forest. After a contest of 
fifteen or twent) minutes, the English began to give ground, 
when the American center was ordered to move. Thereupon 
the enemy retreated in disorder to the river, near the present 
ferry, and took to their boats. A heavy fire was kept up on 
them from the shore, and the hindmost boat suffered very 
severelv. Colonel Bishop, who commanded the expedition, 
was mortally wounded: and Captain Saunders. o\ the forty- 
ninth, was also wounded. He was taken to General Porter's 


house. The English lost about one hundred killed, wounded 
and missing; eight killed and five wounded left on the field; 
besides those who may have been wounded in the boats, and 
also fifteen prisoners. Our loss was three killed and five 
wounded; among the wounded was the well-known Seneca In- 
dian Young King, who, with the more famous Farmer's Brother, 
was conspicuous for valor in the skirmish. 

Henry Lovejoy, then a boy of twelve, took part in this affair: 
carrying, as well as his strength would permit, a huge flint-lock 

A few months after this little victory, the great disaster of 
the war came upon Buffalo; a disaster which was inflicted, not 
without excuse, by way of retribution for the wanton destruc- 
tion of Newark* by General McClure. 

On the nineteenth of December, 1813, an English force, under 
Colonel Murray, surprised and captured Fort Niagara. The 
villages from Fort Niagara to the Falls were soon after burned. 
The disposable American forces were hastily concentrated at 
Buffalo, under command of Brigadier-General Amos Hall. 
They were composed as follows: One hundred and twenty- 
nine mounted men, Lieutenant-Colonel Boughton; four hundred 
and thirty-three Ontario exempt and volunteers, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Blakeslie; one hundred and thirty-six Buffalo militia, 
Lieutenant-Colonel, Chapin; ninety-seven Canadian volunteers. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Mallory; three hundred and thirty-two 
Genesee militia, Major Adams. These were stationed at Buf- 
falo. At .Black Rock were three hundred and eighty-two 
militia, under Brigadier-General Hopkins; thirty-nine mounted 
infantry. Captain Ransom; eighty-three Indians, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Granger; one field-gun and twenty-five men. com- 
manded by Lieutenant Seely. On the twenty-ninth oi Decem- 
ber, a regiment of Chautauqua county militia, three hundred 
strong, under Lieutenant-Colonef Mcjlahon, arrived in Buffalo, 

•Now Niagara village. 

THE WAR OF 1S13. 195 

swelling the whole force to two thousand and eleven men: 
but the troops were raw, undisciplined, poorly armed, and 
without a sufficient supply of ammunition. 

On the evening of the twenty-ninth, the British left, consist- 
ing of eight hundred regulars and militia and two hundred In- 
dians, landed below Conjaquadies creek, and took possession 
of the sailors' battery. General Hall ordered the troops at 
the Rock to dislodge them. The first fire threw our militia 
into disorder, and the attack failed. Major Adams and Colonel 
Chapin were then ordered forward to carry the battery; but, 
after a short skirmish, their men fled, and were not again em- 
bodied. The Ontario command under Colonel Blakeslie were 
then sent up. But, before the attack had begun, the day broke 
and revealed the English center crossing to our shore, in the 
rear of General Porter's house; and about the same time their 
right landed in small force, near Fort Tompkins. The invad- 
ers were commanded by Lieutenant-General Drummond, but 
were under the immediate direction of Major-General Riall. 

This disposition of the foe compelled General Hall to change 
his plan. The order to Colonel Blakeslie was countermanded, 
and he was directed to attack the English center at the water's 
edge. The "enemy's left wing was soon discovered moving 
from Conjaquadies creek upon our right, the Indians under 
Colonel Granger, and the Canadian volunteers under Colonel 
Mallory, were advanced to meet them, and Colonel McMahon's 
regiment was held in reserve. Lieutenant Seely opened the 
engagement with his 6-pounder, and a 20-poundcr and two 
twelves at th- battery were soon brought into service. At 
the same time the batteries on the other side of the river 
threw a heavy 1 lire of shell, round and hot shot. Colonel 
Blakeslie held his force in line, and as the enemy landed. 
poured upon them a most destructive tire. On our right, how- 
ever, but a feeble resistance was offered, * A 11 the corps had. 
been graduallv reduced by desertion, which began with the 
first shot, in the night. Perceiving the danger to his right. 


General Hall ordered up the reserve under Colonel MeMahon, 
to hold the enemy in check. But this corps disgracefully 
scattered before it came under fire. The whole right wing of 
the American force was now driven from the field, and the 
steadfast militia of Colonel Blakeslie were exposed to a cross- 
fire. For half an hour, outflanked and outnumbered, the gal- 
lant little regiment maintained the unequal contest; but at last, 
to avoid capture, it was ordered to retire. By this time the 
greater part of the Americans were flying in all directions, 
most of them going through the forest to reach the Buffalo 
and Batavia road. A small number of the bolder spirits, 
among whom were Colonel Chapin, retired slowly along Niagara 
street, towards Buffalo. Among these was Lieutenant John 
Seely, a carpenter and joiner, who lived on the corner of 
Auburn and Niagara streets, and was lieutenant of a company 
of artillery at Black Rock. He had fought his piece on the 
brow of the hill, on what is now Breckinridge street, until he 
had but seven men and one horse left. Mounting the horse, 
which was harnessed to the gun, he brought it away with him, 
firing upon the enemy whenever occasion offered. Near where 
Mohawk street joins Niagara, was then a slough. Here Seely 
turned .upon his foe. The gun was- thrown off from its car- 
riage by the discharge, but was quickly replaced, and taken 
to the village. 

Meanwhile a sailor named Johnson, E. I). Kfner and a few 
others, went to a vessel, one of Perry's fleet, which lay beached 
on this side of the creek, near its mouth, and took off an iron 
9-pounder, mounted upon a ship's truck, which they placed 
in Main .^reet, opposite Church, and trained down Niagara 
street. Besides Johnson and Kfner, the following persons as- 
sisted in serving this gun: Robert Kane, a mason by trade: 
Captain Hull, father of Mrs. O. C Steele, and Absalom Hull. 
his brother. At the third round, one <j\ the truck wheels broke: 
but they were loading it again, when Colonel Chapin, who 
thought resistance hopeless, and wished to give the people time 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 1 97 

for escape, rushed forward with a handkerchief, or as it is said, 
with a piece of his shirt, upon the end of his sword, and shouted, 
" Don't fire that gun." " I will fire it," said Kane. " I'll cleave 
to the earth the first man who touches it. I've shown a flag of 
truce;" replied Chapin, and started forward towards the enemy, 
who were by this time in the woods, upon what is now called 
Franklin Square. A parley took place, which resulted in 
Colonel Chapin surrendering the town, stipulating for the pro- 
tection of private property; a stipulation by which General 
Riall refused to be bound, when he learned that Chapin was 
not in command, and was, therefore, without authority to treat 
with him. 

It was now ten o'clock. The day was bright, but cold. A 
heavy snow had fallen early in December, which still lingered 
in the woods, but the roads were bare. Most of the able-bodied 
men were with the troops. Through the long, dreary Decem- 
ber night, the lonely women had heard the rattle of musketry, 
and at daybreak they gathered in groups, listening with throb- 
bing hearts to the Cannonading at the Rock. Presently, tidings 
of defeat fleW through the town; and soon upon every road, 
leading towards the Indian settlement, were little processions 
of terrified villagers, fleeing from the savage foe, into the em- 
brace of the wintry forest. Who shall tell what they suffered — 
those houseless fugitives, ignorant of the fate of father, husband, 
brother; by daf, skulking through the forest, and at night, 
creeping under the friendly roof of some Indian hut ! 

The Hritish Indians had left the main column before it 
reached the vflTpge; and, swarming through the woods, came 
into Main street, near Tupper. A house, which stood on the 
northwest corner of Tupper and Delaware streets, was the firsl 
burned. A man, named Dill, lived there. Judge Tupper's 
house, on Main street, near the corner of Tupper, was the next. 
Opposite, above the residence of Mr.'Am^cw Rich, lived Sam- 
uel Helms; he was slain while attempting to escape, and his 
house burned. Cioing down the street, the torch was applied 


to every building they found. Mrs. Lovejoy was in her house, 
on the present site of the Phoenix. The night before, her 
husband had mounted his horse, and taking his trusty rifle, 
had gone to the Rock, to make such defence of his home as 
became a brave man. " Henry," said the bold-hearted woman 
to her little son; "you have fought against the British; you 
must run. They will take you prisoner. I am a woman; they 
will not harm me." The lad flew into the woods. His light 
footfalls have not faded from the mother's ear when a score of 
Indians, wild with whisk)' and the rage of battle, rush into the 
dwelling and commence to sack it. Confident in the great de- 
fence of her sacred sex, the careful housewife attempts to save 
her hard-earned treasures. Poor woman, thy sex is not sacred 
here! A tomahawk crushes into her brain, and she falls dead 
upon the floor of her desecrated home. On the other side of 
the road stands the house of sturdy Mrs. St. John, able to de- 
fend her eaaftle against a legion of enemies, whether savage or 
civilized. What magic she used, or by dint of what prowess, 
we know not, but the storm of fire passes scathless over her 
roof. Twp-thirds of the village is now in flames. The Eng- 
lish, with their cruel allies, weary with the long march and con- 
tinued fighting, retire to the Rock. 

In the night there is a fall of snow, and by daylight some of 
the fugitives return, preferring their savage foe to the inhospi- 
table forest. ♦ Mrs. St. John receives some of them, and gives 
them a cup of tea. A few have gathered at Dr. Chapin's house, 
which is still standing, when the alarm is suddenly sounded, 
and once mor ' the merciless invaders burst upon the remnant 
of the denoted village. The work of destruction is .soon com- 
pleted, and many of the returned villagers are captured. Put 
four houses remain — that of Mrs. St. John; the jail; the frame 
of a barn, which stood where stands Mr. C'allcmier's house, and 
Rees' blacksmith shop. The day *hefo*e, Judge Walden went 
to Lovejoy 's, and placed the murdered woman, attired, as she 
fell, in her black >ilk dies-, on the bare cords o\ the bedstead. 

THE WAR OF /Si 2. 199 

Its ghastly occupant does not save the building; it, too, is fired, 
and becomes the funeral pyre of its unhappy mistress. 

The American general reported his loss — and, I suppose, his 
statement is confined to the army — at thirty killed, forty wound- 
ed, and sixty-nine taken prisoners. Among the slain were 
Major William C. Dudley, Adjutant Tatman and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Boughton, who, I think, is the Sergeant Houghton who, 
the year before, escorted General Hall into the village, at the 
head of a detachment of the East Bloomfield Horse. 

The Buffalonians slain are these: Job Hoysington,* a carpenter 
and joiner, who lived on Church street, near Franklin; John 
Triskett, who cannot be identified; John Roop, father of Henry 
Roop, a teamster, of Dutch descent, but American birth, who 
lived on Main street, above Tupper — he was shot while try- 
ing to escape; Samuel Helms, already mentioned — he was a 
German and an old bachelor, and deserves to be remembered 
by the epicures of Buffalo, as the first market gardener in the 
place. He raised the first lettuce, which he used to carry in a 
basket on his head, selling it from door to door. He it was, 
too, who dug the ditches to drain the morass south of the Ter- 
race. N. D. Keep was killed by a British officer near Cold 

Spring. James Xe.sbit and Myers I can find no trace of. 

The last was Robert Franklin, an aged negro, very black, who 
lived in a log hut on Niagara, opposite Jersey street. Whether 
the old negro died defending his home, I know not. His life- 
less body was found near his house, and long remained unburied. 

The following residents of the village were captured: C\ re- 
nins Chapin, John I. *y, Charles C. Wells, William Wilber, 
Rufus "Botsford, Joseph 1). Hovt, Robert Keene, Timothy 
Strong, Benjamin Hodge, Jr., Daniel Baxter, and Captain R. 

The new year dawned upon homes desolated by fire, and 
upon scattered families; but the uninllamnuiblo Buffalonians 

* F r a. count •<;" H y>ifljjtun'h death, see (luffah ( '. .•/.v/Vr.'..,, p. 53. 


soon gave signs of life in the neighboring vilLgr-. The G:z:ttc 
is printed in Williamsville, where it remains until April 4: . 
1S15. Seth Grosvenor and Eli Hart open their stores, and 
Walden and Potter their law offices, in Williamsville. The 
embers of Pomeroy's house are not yet cold when he annouru r- 
that his Eagle hotel is to rise, Phcenix-like, from its asho. 
On April 5th, the Gazette announces that "'Buffalo village, 
which once adorned the shores of Erie, and was prostrated by 
the enemy, is now rising again." 

In the spring, new men were at the head of our forces. S 
Ripley and Porter held brigadiers' commissions; and Jacob 
Brown, fresh from the plow, was charged with the command 
of the Niagara frontier. Brown had little education, and still 
less military training. But he possess* I ::i an extraordii . 
degree those qualities, which, in all. ages, have been found 
more essential to a captain than all the learning of Brienne or 
West Point — a temper which was never so calm as when ex- 
citement raged all around him: perfect courage; complete con- 
fidence in himself; and, above all, the knowledge that a cam- 
paign cannot be reduced to a certainty like a siege, and the 
disposition to take the risks which are involved in all held 
operations. Buffalo at once became the center of important 
movements. A larger force than had ever been here 

D concentrated: two brigades of regulars, under Scott an 
Ripley; and a brigade of volunteers, with a few Indians, ler 
I -er. 

( m the morning c : ;d, the regular^ were thrown aci — 

the Niagara. One brigade, under Scott, landed about a mile 
below Fort Vie; and Ripley, with the second 
about the same dis The fort was soon surrounded, 

and surrendered with the loss upon our side of but foi 
wounded. On the fifth of July occurred the battle of Chi 
pew a: and on the twenty-fifth of the same month, the desperate 
engagement of Lundy's Lane. The*American army was greatly 
reduced bv these battles. Brown and Scott were wounded: 

THE iVAR OF 1S12. 201 

.and Ripley, who succeeded to the command, retired to Fort 
Erie, where he arrived on the twenty-seventh of July. 

Fort Erie was a small work with two demi-bastions; one upon 
the north and the other upon the south front. It was built of 
stone, but was not of sufficient strength to resist ordnance 
heavier than the field artillery of that day. Ripley at once 
-commenced to strengthen the position. Fortunately, General 
Drummond dela)ed his advance for two days, giving the Amer- 
icans an opportunity of which they industriously availed them- 
.selves. Two bastions were added to the west face of the fort; 
an earthwork was thrown up upon its northerly side, ex- 
tending to the river, and defended on the westerly end by a 
battery of two guns, known as Douglass' battery. From the 
southerly face of the fort a line of earthworks and abattis was 
drawn parallel with the beach for about seven hundred yards, 
to the point where the shore of the lake curves into the bank 
of the river. At the extreme left of this line, upon Snake Hill, 
was a redoubt, defended by five guns, under Major Towson. 
Between Snake "Hill and the main work defending the line of 
earthworks, were two batteries; one of three guns, under Cap- 
tain Biddle, and the other of two guns, under Lieutenant Fon- 
taine. By these additions, Fort Erie was changed into an 
entrenched camp, with' its rear open toward the river. 

General Drummond appeared before the fort, on the third 
<of August, with Of force of five thousand three hundred and 
fifty men. He established his camp two miles distant, back of 
Waterloo, and commenced a double line of entrenchments 
within four hundred yards of the main work. The same morn- 
ing lie threw a force of about one thousand men across the 
river, and landed them below Squaw Island, with the intention 
of seizing Buffalo, destroying the stores gathered there, and 
interrupting the communications of the American army. This 
soldierly plan was happily frustrated l'y Nkvjor Morgan with a 
battalion of the First Riiles, two hundred and fifty strong. 
Morgan had observed the enemy moving up the river the 


morning before, and, suspecting an attack, he threw up a breast- 
work of logs on the north side of Conjaquadies creek, and tore 
up the flooring of the bridge which then crossed the stream a 
little below the site of the present bridge. The bridge stood 
on two bents, and the platform which crossed the channel was 
movable, and was raised when vessels went through to the navy- 
yard. The flooring was torn up between the southern shore and 
the first bent, so that those approaching from the north could not 
see that the bridge was impassable, until they were halfway across. 

At four o'clock in the morning the British advanced at a 
double-quick, and dashed on to the bridge. The head of the 
column recoiled when half way over the bridge, but its impetus 
was so great that many of the men were thrown into the water. 
The attacking party soon scattered under the deadly fire which 
Morgan's men poured in from behind the log breastwork. 
The British commander then sent forward a party to repair the 
bridge, under cover of the fire of his infantry, who were formed 
in the skirt of a wood. But they were unable to work before 
the muzzles of those sure-sighted riflemen. They accordingly 
feli back, and for a time the fight was kept up at long shot. 
Being strongly reinforced from the Canadian shore, Colonel 
Tucker sent a flanking force to cross the creek higher up; this 
was encountered by a detachment of sixty men from Morgan's 
battalion, and repulsed with severe loss. The enemy then re- 
treated, carrvinej off their killed and wounded. Their loss is 
said to have exceeded fifty, while we lost but two killed and 
eight wounded. -But for Morgan's stubborn and gallant de- 
fence, the American army at Fort Erie must have been com- 
pelled to surrei. ler. Drummond was greatly disappointed at 
the failure of this expedition, and issued a general order, in 
which he indignantly denounced the conduct of his own men 
as unmilitary and disgraceful. 

During the following fortnight* several skirmishes occurred 
in front of Fort Erie, in one of which the gallant Colonel Mor- 
gan was killed. 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 203 

General Drummond, having been still further reinforced, 
determined not to wait for the slow results of a siege, but to 
carry the place by assault. At two o'clock in the morning of 
the third of August, the British army moved to the attack in 
three columns. One was ordered to carry the Douglass bat- 
tery, upon the extreme right of our position; another column 
was to engage the fort itself; but the main attack was directed 
against the Towson battery upon Snake Hill. Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Gaines, who had lately arrived, was now in command of 
the American forces, which were disposed as follows: Captain 
Towson, with six guns, held the redoubt on the left; Fort Erie 
was defended by Captain Williams with the 19th Infantry, 
under Major Trimble; the batteries on the front were com- 
manded by Captains Biddle and Fanning; and that on the ex- 
treme right by Captain Douglass. The old brigade of General 
Scott, now under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Aspin- 
wall, was posted on the right; General Porter, with his volun- 
teers and riflemen, held the center; and General Ripley, with 
two regiments of regulars, the left. The evening before, a shell 
had exploded a small magazine in Fort Erie, and General 
Gaines was apprehensive that the enemy would take advantage 
of this disaster and attack him, — one-third of the troops were 
therefore kept at their post through the night, which was dark 
and rainy. His precautions were well taken. At half-past two 
the tramp of a heavy golumn was heard approaching Towson 's 
redoubt. Instantly a sheet of fire flashed from our lines, light- 
ing up the night, and revealing the enemy fifteen hundred strong. 
They had been ordered *o attack with the bayonet; and to in- 
sure obedience, the tlints nad been removed from their muskets. 
With complete courage they approached to within reach of the 
light abattis, between Snake Hill and the lake. But after a 
desperate struggle they fell back. Again they advanced, and 
this time succeeded in planting scaling" ladders in the ditch in 
front of the redoubt. But their ladders were too short, and the 
assailants were driven off with severe loss. Meanwhile a de- 


tachment endeavored to turn our position by wading out into 
the river, and passing round our left. Ripley met them prompt- 
ly. Numbers were killed or wounded, and were carried off by 
the current, and the remainder of the detachment were captured. 
Five times the obstinate English returned to the assault, but 
each time without success. Colonel Flascher, their commander, 
now concluded that his task could not be accomplished, and 
ordered a retreat. The Americans at once made a sally and 
captured one hundred and forty-seven prisoners. 

The other British columns waited until the engagement on 
the left was at its height. On our right the enemy advanced 
to within fifty yards of the Douglass battery, but were then 
driven back. At the fort the contest was more severe. The 
assailants, led by Colonel Drummond, an officer of singular 
determination, advanced through a ravine north of the fort, and 
attacking simultaneously all the salient points, they swarmed 
over the parapet into the north bastion. Some British officer 
instantly cabled out to our forces along the line extending to 
the river, to cease firing. This ruse succeeded, and our fire 
ceased. Taking advantage of this, the enemy again attacked 
the Douglass battery, but were driven back before their scaling 
ladders could be planted. While this was going on, the garri- 
son of the fort rallied, and after a severe contest succeeded in 
regaining possession of the bastion. A second and third time 
Drummond returned to the assault with no better success. But 
with invincible tenacity he clung to his purpose. Moving his 
troops, under cover of the night and the dense cloud of battle 
which hung alorg the ramparts, silently round the ditch, he 
.suddenly repeated the charge. The English ran up their lad- 
ders so quickly that they gained the to}) of the glacis before 
the defenders could rally to resist them. 

Drummond was in the lead, and as he stepped from the lad- 
der, "Charge," he shouted, "give the Yankees' no quarter." 
His followers rushed upon our artillery men ami infantry: a 
deadly combat ensued. Williams and Macdonoudi soon fell. 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 205 

mortally wounded, and the bastion was lost. Macdonough asked 
for quarter; but Drummond, whose brutality stood in striking 
contrast with his splendid valor, refused it. Macdonough then 
seized a hand-spike and defended himself against several as- 
sailants, until Drummond shot him down with his own pistol. 
The next instant the British commander was shot through the 
heart, by an American soldier who stood near Macdonough. 

The garrison of the fort made repeated unsuccessful efforts 
to retake the bastion; but at day-break it was still in the enemy's 
possession. Powerful detachments were then brought up from 
the left and center, and a combined attempt was made from 
several different directions to drive the British from their po- 
sition: but. after a desperate struggle, this likewise failed. The 
guns of the Douglass battery, and those under Captain Fan- 
ning, were turned upon the bastion, and Captain Biddle was 
placing a piece of artillery to enfilade it, while several hundred 
of the American reserve stood ready to rush upon it. At this 
moment a loud explosion shook the earth, and the whole bas- 
tion leaped into the air, carrying with it both its assailants and 
defenders. The cause of this explosion has never been ac- 
curately ascertained. It is generally supposed to have been 
accidental. But-the romance which never fails to cluster around 
such scenes, attributes it to the dying Macdonough; who, wish- 
ing to avenge his own murder, threw a lighted match into an 
ammunition chest which stood near him. 

The shattered columns of the foe now retired to their en- 
campment. The British' report stated their loss at nine hun- 
dred^and five killed, wounded and missing; of whom two hun- 
dred and twenty-two were killed, including fourteen officers; 
one hundred and seventy-four wounded; and one hundred and 
eighty-six prisoners remained in our hands. Our loss, in- 
cluding eleven prisoners, was eighty-jour men. In the bom- 
bardment of the day before we had forty-five killed and 
wounded; swelling our total loss to one hundred and twenty- 


A few days after this, Drummond was reinforced by two 
regiments, and reopened fire along his own line. The bom- 
bardment continued through the remainder of the month of Au- 
gust. On the twenty-eighth, General Gaines was wounded by 
a shell, which fell into his quarters, and General Ripley again 
assumed the command, but was soon superseded by General 
Brown, who had recovered from the wound received at Lundy's 

General Porter, by dint of superhuman efforts, gathered a 
considerable body of militia at Buffalo, to reinforce the fort. 
Early in September, he ordered them to cross the river. The 
line was formed along Pearl street, in the rear of the First 
Church. As soon as the head of the column began to move, 
and its direction became apparent, an officer — one of those men 
who, in such times, are scrupulous as to the law in proportion 
to the value they set upon their lives — stepped out of the ranks, 
and shouted out: "We are militia of New York, and cannot be 
ordered out of the state. It is unconstitutional." It was won- 
derful, how suddenly a love for the Constitution developed it- 
self in the breasts of the militia men. Large numbers left the 
ranks and began to clamor against the order. But Porter and 
a few determined officers spurred among the malcontents, ar- 
rested the ringleader, awed his followers, and, aided by a small 
detachment of regulars, restored order. This constitutionalist 
— who, I need hardly say, was a lawyer — was hurried into a 
quartermaster's cart, and sent under a strong guard to Williams- 
ville; with the 'information, that if he returned with his legal 
scruples into Our lines, he would be shot forthwith. 

Notwithstanding the victory I have just described, and the 
reinforcements brought by Porter, the American army at Port 
Erie was in a very dangerous situation. Their foe was daily 
increasing in number, and three new batteries were thrown up, 
whose fire was rapidly making the position untenable. The 
river lay in their rear, and there were not sufficient boats at 
hand to carry the army to our shore. Successful and mime- 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 207 

diate action was imperative. Under the pressure of this great 
necessity, General Porter planned a sortie, which was submitted 
to General Brown; who approved it, and ordered it to be car- 
ried out. The plan was to throw two strong columns upon the 
enemy's batteries — which were about two miles distant from 
their camp, and separated from it by a dense forest, — destroy the 
cannon, and roughly handle the brigade which might be on 
duty in the entrenchments. Under cover of a fog, a road was 
cut through the wood, on the sixteenth of September. This 
road started from Towson's battery, and making a wide detour, 
was carried off in a northwesterly direction, to the rear of the 
enemy's line. The working party, under command of Lieuten- 
ants Biddle and Frazier, in doing the work, reached to within 
pistol-shot of the British right wing without being discovered. 

General Porter was ordered to move up this road with a col- 
umn of sixteen hundred men, made up of volunteers, militia 
and regulars. General Miller was directed to concentrate his 
brigade in a ravine which ran between the fort and British 
lines, by passing it by detachments through the skirts of the 
wood. General Ripley, with the 21st Regulars, was held in 
reserve, and \fy out of view, between the two new bastions of 
the fort. On the morning of the seventeenth, a severe gale 
set in, which increased through the day. At twelve o'clock, 
Porter formed his men in three divisions, and set out from 
Towson's batter*'. As he began the march, a violent thunder 
storm, with heavy rain, began; which made it impossible to see 
the distance of a dozen yards. Shrouded in the tempest. Por- 
ter crept silently n to within a few rods of the enemy's right 
flank; who, unsuspicious of attack at such an unseasonable time, 
had made no preparations for defence. 

At twenty minutes past three o'clock, Brown found Porter 
in position,. ordered him to attack, and hurried down into the 
ravine, where Miller lay hid. Porter fourtd but little opposi- 
tion, and carried a block-house in the rear of Battery Xo. 3, 
and took possession <>t" the battery itself. As soon as he heard 


the firing, Miller advanced, formed a junction with Porter, and 
the combined columns stormed Battery No. 2. But thirty 
minutes had passed since the battle commenced, and the ene- 
my's line of entrenchments, two of their most formidable bat- 
teries, and two block-houses were in our hands. By this time, 
the English had recovered from their surprise; their reinforce- 
ments had been brought up, and they were prepared to make 
a stubborn defence of Battery No. 1, which stood behind Bat- 
tery No. 2, and near the river bank. Breastworks connected 
the first and second batteries, lines of entrenchments intersected 
each other for a hundred yards in the rear, and several rows of 
abattis added to the difficulty of the approach. Brown sent 
forward his reserves to strengthen Miller's column. Under the 
lead of this gallant officer, so distinguished at Lundy's Lane, the 
Americans, cheering loudly, charged over the entrenchments, 
through the abattis, winning their way with the bayonet, and 
drove the enemy from their last battery. Ripley, who was now 
in the front, formed his force in line north of the besiegers" 
work, to protect the detachments who were detailed to spike 
the enemy's guns and destroy their entrenchments. This, the 
object of the sortie, being accomplished, the Americans retired 
to their tori. 

t By this enterprise, altogether the most brilliant military event 
which occurred on this frontier during the war, all of the ene- 
my's guns in position were made useless, and their entrench- 
ments destroyed. We took three hundred and eighty-five pris- 
oners, including eleven commissioned officers, and killed or 
wounded sir hundred men. Our own loss was five hundred 
*and ten. 

In his despatch, General Porter speaks of Captain Elliott and 
twenty young gentlemen, who volunteered from Batavin, and 
were under his command. I have been unable to ascertain the 
names of any of these, except that of .James Stevens, He als 
mentions fourteen volunteers, who were exempt by age from mil- 
itary service, as being distinguished in the action. The 

THE WAR OF 1S12. 209 

citizen of Buffalo whom I can ascertain to have been present 
as a volunteer, was the well-known Thomas C. Love, who was 
wounded in the hand. 

While the fight was in progress, the people on this side came 
to the river bank to watch the fray. Even in Buffalo, a more 
terrible storm has seldom been known. The flame of battle 
could be but dimly discerned through the blinding rain, and 
the cannon were voiceless amidst the roar of the tempest and 
the surf. All through the afternoon, no tidings came. Just at 
dusk, a small boat was seen struggling in the rapids. An eager 
crowd soon gathered on the beach. In the midst of the break- 
ers, the little bark upset. One of its crew was seen floating on 
the waves. The by-standers made a line, by holding on to each 
others' clothes, and stretching -out from the shore, seized the 
drowning man. As, exhausted and chilled, he staggered up 
the beach, he gasped into the ears of his rescuers the first news 
they had of the great conflict and victory. 

Four days after this, General. Drummond raised the siege, 
and felt back to Fort George. 





[mr. Stewart's paper.] 

Knowing that your Society appreciates even the smallest 
scrap of the early history of this county, and that every man 
should investigate at least the history of the lot on which he 
lives, I send you my researches on Lot 50, T. 9, R. 8, Holland 
Land Company's Purchase. On part of this lot, north of 
Eighteen-Mile creek, Ebenezcr Ingersoll settled with his fam- 
ily in 1S11. The first business of the new settler was to clear 
away the forest; and, in cutting down a large black oak, he 
found a *pot near the heart where it had been cut with an axe, 
apparently more than a century before. One hundred grains 
were counted outside the old cut. 

Near this tree, and to the north, he came upon an old stock- 
ade on the bank of Lake Erie, with its opening toward the 
lake. At first he regarded it merely as a ridge in the land: 
but, on examining, found that this ridge ran around in a semi- 
circular form, one-half to three-fourths of an acre; and in this 
ridge were still to be found the bottoms of the palings. He 
traced these palings, set close together, around the entire ridge. 



to the top of the high bank of the lake. In front of this stock- 
ade under the bank, toward the lake, was about one acre and 
a half of land, covered with timber; on which, after being 
cleared, they raised crops; but which has since been washed 
away, and is now mostly covered with water. He found inside 
these palings various articles: what they called a Spanish dirk- 
knife, nine inches long, with brass handle; a bayonet; a long. 
narrow, iron axe; iron cask hoops; a small kettle and other 
articles. Some new discoveries were made at every plowing. 
Inside the palings and on the ridge, trees — mostly maple and 
beech — stood, from eight to twenty-four inches in diameter. 

Some twenty or thirty rods to the west of this paling, on 
land first purchased, by Abraham Brinkerhof, and on the top 
of the bank, were found -about half a bushel of iron spikes 
eight or nine inches long, such as are used on vessels. This 
excited curiosity; and, on looking about, near a tree covered 
with moss, they found a large iron ring, or, as they called it, a 
withe for a mast; having a joint on one side, and locking on 
the other, with a slot for a key to draw it together; and on the 
other side was an eye to receive a hook or staple. This ring 
weighed seventy-five pounds. A large quantity of iron was 
found; consisting of smaller rings, large iron links or loops, 
short tlat bars of iron, &e. The iron found was abundant for 
their blacksmithing purposes for many years. Colonel A. J. 
Myer is now the owner of the land on which were found the 
stockade and these relics. 

At the mouth of the Eighteen-Mile creek about one hundred 
rod^ from this stockade, in the sand on the beach, two small 
Cannon were found in 1815. They were about 3-pounders. 
Some accounts make them brass, some iron guns; at all events, 
there is no doubt but that two guns were found there. The late 
R. S. Ingersoll informed me that there was a litigation between 
two men named Ward and Walker, shout the possession oi 
these guns. One of them was used at a Fourth of July cele- 
bration at Abbott's Corners in this county: but what has be- 


come of them I cannot learn. An account of these cannon by 
Mr. Peters, of Evans, will be found in the History of the Hol- 
land Land Company. 

A small anchor was found, also, near where these cannon 
were. These facts were obtained from R. S., G. S. and John 
Ingersoll, sons of Ebenezer Ingersoll, above mentioned. 

These relics point to the wreck of one of the early trading 
vessels, at the mouth of this creek. Some have conjectured it 
to be the Griffin, but it is more likelv to have been the Beaver. 

What this stockade could have been built for, or by whom, 
it is difficult 10 conjecture. It, is hardly probable that the 
crew of the wrecked vessel would have built a stockade so 
near the place where the vessel must have stranded. 

This paper, however, was not written to establish any theory, 
but to give facts; and now, having given the facts, I leave the 
learned members of your Society to speculate upon them. 

[.MR. MARSHALl/s HAl'ER.] 

There have been many speculations in regard to the vessel, 
the remains of which are the subject of Mr. Stewart's commu- 
nication. An examination of the manuscripts of Sir William 
Johnson has satisfied me that the vessel was an English trans- 
port, — wrecked on the eighth day of August, 1765, on her 
voyage from Fort Schlosser to Detroit. 

After wresting from the French the fortresses of Niagara 
and Quebec, in 1750, the English found it essentia] for the 
protection and advancement of their interests on the great 
Western kike's, to construct suitable vessels for the transporta- 
tion of troops and supplies. « 

It appears from the journal of Sir William Johnson, kept in 
1761, that during that year a schooner was built on Navy 


Island, in the Niagara river. Sir William states that he left it 
on the stocks on the twenty-sixth day of August, on his way 
to Detroit; and on his return — five weeks later — found it 
anchored in the rapids, about a mile from Lake Erie, where 
"the current was running six knots an hour." 

It appears from the same journal, under date of October 
5th, that a sloop was building on Navy Island the same year, 
but would not be finished until next spring. It may be men- 
tioned in this connection, that to this day, the Senecas, in allu- 
sion to the building of the above vessels, call Navy Island, 
"The Big Canoe Island." 

Pontiac had held Detroit under his remarkable siege during 
the spring and summer of 1763. The garrison had suffered 
much from want of supplies; and the sloop, having been 
finished in 1762, was despatched the following summer from 
Fort Schlosser with the much-needed succor. A storm over- 
took her on this errand of mercy, and she was driven ashore 
at the mouth of Eighteen-Mile creek, on the eighth day of 
August, 1763. De Couagne, the Indian interpreter, announced 
its. loss in a letter to Sir William Johnson, which, unfortunately, 
has not been preserved. In a subsequent one, written from 
Niagara on the eighth of the following September, he says: 

" In rr/y last I wrote you that the sloop was lost upon Lake Erie. Since 
they have been on shore they have been attacked by a few straggling Indians, 
and have lost three men in the breastworks, and one that was scalped. 
Daniel and the rest of the Indians behaved very well." 

A rnofe particular, account of the wreck is contained in a 
letter from Colin Andrews to Sir William Johnson, dated at 
^Cat Fi»u Creek, fourteen miles in Lake Erie, Sept. 9th, 1763," 
and which reads as follows: 

"According to Daniel Oughnour's desire, I now take the freedom to write 
to you. The 8th ultimo, we have been cast away at this place, which de- 
tained him from proceeding to Detroit; but hojtays he will go forward, and 
deliver your belts, ami bring you an answer from the different nations, 
according to your directions. The 3d instant we had three men killed by a 


small party of Indians. Daniel spoke to them a little distance from the 
breastwork, but they would not tell what nation they were. He says he 
believes they are Senecas (Cinices.) We expect the schooner from Detroit 
daily. Aaron and rive Indians went in her to Detroit. Daniel gives his 
compliments to you and family, and desires the favor of you, in case you see 
his wife, to tell her he is well." [Signed,] 

"Colin Andrews." 

It will be noticed that the letter bears date at " Cat Fish 
Creek, fourteen miles in Lake Erie."" No stream answers to this 
distance but Eighteen-Mile creek. The discovery of the re- 
mains of a vessel and "breastwork" near its mouth, as related 
by Mr. Stewart, seems to lead irresistibly to the conclusion 
that they all have reference to the wreck of 1763. 

Major Wilkins wrote from Niagara on the thirtieth day of 
August, 1763, to Major Alexander Duncan, then in command 
of Fort Ontario (now Oswego), that " the sloop was run ashore 
about twenty miles from the mouth of Lake Erie; going with 
provisions to Detroit." 

" This," Major Duncan remarks, in a letter to Sir William Johnson, "is 
a very unlucky accident, as there is no other vessel but a small schooner, 
which carried about two hundred barrels to supply Detroit with provisions." 

* In a letter from Captain Gavin Cochrane to Sir William 
Johnson, dated at Fort Johnson, November 5th, 1763, he says: 

"Captain Daniel, at parting, pressed me much to give an account of his 
behavior while \vith me, when I was guarding the wreck. I was thereabout 
a fortnight, and in all that time he was but once drunk. Always at my 
elbow, and very industrious to do everything to ingratiate himself with me; 
and so was Jacob, who was with me. We were tired at for near two hours 
by 25 or 30 Indians, a> we guessed from the tracks afterwards; and Daniel 
keptxdose by nu ml showed great zeal. We lost three men. The enemy 
came very near, but we could not get one shot at them." 

The writer of this letter was a captain in the Royal Ameri- 
cans; became a colonel in the British army in 17S2, and died 
in 1 7 86. ' « 

Sir William Johnson, in a letter to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, dated 
September 1 4th, 1763, alludes to the loss of this vessel as 


"very unlucky at this juncture;" and expresses apprehension 
"lest the Indians should burn the other when the frost set in." 
The name of the wrecked sloop, was the Beaver; that of its 
consort the Glachoin. The latter was also subsequently lost 
on Lake Erie with, all her crew, through the obstinacy of her 
commander in not providing sufficient ballast. 







June 18 Friday Mornipg June iS. 1779. The N Jersey and 
N Hampshire Brigades with Procters Reg 1 of Artillery, 
under the command of Major General Sullivan, began to 
march from Easton on an Expedition to the Western fron- 
tiers against /the Savages. About 12 "Clock the Troops 
halted for the day, at Hilliers Tavern 12 Miles from 
E as ton — 

.19 Marched at 4 °Clock this Morning. &: advanced as far as 
Brinkers Mill^7 Miles, where the Army halted to draw 
provissions & Refresh themselves, we came through a 
narrow pass c. the blue mountain, calld the Wind-gap, a 

Note. — The present being the centennial year of General Sullivan's expedition against 
the Seneca Indians and Tories in Western New Vork, it is fitting that the Buffalo Histori- 
cal Society should at this time furnish its contribution to the original documentary history 
of that event. This is done by publishing the interesting Journal of Major J. one- Nurris, 
an officer in the expedition, from the original manuscript", in the possession of the Society, 
the gift 1 f Hon J seph Williamson uf Belfast, Maine. 

This Journal is but one of a number— perhaps twenty— which have been found in differ- 
ent places; while others are coming to light here and there. 

It is not a complete narrative of the expedition, although it covers the whole period, day 


passage apparently designd by Nature for a Communi- 
cation; and according to the description given by Corne- 
lius Nepos. pretty much resembles the Straits of Thermop- 
ylae where 300 Greeks under Leonidas checked the prog- 
ress of 800,000 Persians commanded by Xerxes — After 
having taken rest and refreshment, the Troops marchd 9 
Miles farther to Learns's Tavern near Pogono point and 
encampd, at this place a rattle snake was killd having 
7 Rattles on his tail, and a full grown bird in his Stomach, 
which would seem to confirm the Notion of Snakes having 
the power of facinating or charming their prey — The 
Land thro this days march is mountainous, rocky, barren, 
- «\: uninhabitable; but well waterd and the Streams abound- 
ing with Trouts — • 

20 Marched at 8 °Clock & enterd an exstensive Forrest, 
calld the great Swamp into which we advanced 5 Miles, 
& encampd on a small brook; the Gen 1 gave this the 
name of Chowder Camp — The House we left this morn- 
ing is the last of the Inhabitants 'till we reach Wyoming. 

21 This days march of 21 Miles was as Severe as it was un- 
necessary, through a Wilderness, where there had been 
only an Indian path, till the Troops cut a road this spring 
for /the passage of Sullivans Army — the fatigues of this 
Day might have been prevented by a longer march Yes- 
terday: but after crossing two Considerable Streams calld 
the Tobehanah & Tanckhannanck, there is no proper 
ground for an Encampment till we get through the Swamp 
After we had crossd the Creek, we come to the Lehi, the 

by day. from June iSth to October '25th, 1770: and it i- in some p:;rts only an account of the 
proceedings of certain detachment-; of the army; yet readers ^( the general histories of the 
campaign will find it of unquestionable value in corroborating and supplementing these. 

It has not been thought best t<> annotate the Journal, or to accompany it with a general 
sketch of the expedition from combined sources; though it would have been useful and in- 
teresting to t do so. The endeavor has beeii to, reproduce the manuscript with scrupulous 
exactness, so that so far as could be done with types,*il might be accurately presented. 

A "plan" or drawing of the "order of battle." which was furnished to accompany the 
general orders fur the expedition (a copy of which orders is appended to the Journal), is 
referred to <>n page 251, hut is not found with the document. — Ed. 


Western branch of the Delaware, & having passed this we 
enter a gloomy grove of Cypress, Hemlock, Pine, Spruce 
&c calld the Shades of Death, the growth of Timber in 
this swamp is amazing — 

22 We moved but 5 Miles to a desolate Farm, the property 
of one Bullock, who had been driven of with his Familey 
by the Savages — here we found large meadows & plenty 
of grass for our horses — 

23 Our next place of. halting is Wyoming, distant 7 Miles, 
about 4 Miles from this Town we saw two Monuments set 
up by the way side in memory of Cap 1 . Davis »S: Lieu 1 
Jones of 11 th . Pennsylvania Reg\ with the following In- 
scriptions. "The place where Cap 1 , Davis was murderd 
by the Savages April 23 d . 17 79 & "The blood of L* Jones 
— About 12 '°Clock we enterd the Town of Wyoming, 
which exhibits a melancholy scene of desolation, in ruin'd 
Houses, wasted fields <Sc Fatherless Children & Widows. 
These unhappy people after living in continual alarms, & 
disputing for many Years their possessions with the Penn- 
sylvanians, at length were attacked by a merciless band of 
savages, led on by a more savage Tory, the Unnatural 

/monster Butler: their Houses were plunderd and burnt, 
their cattle and effects conveyd away after they had 
capitulated; and the poor helpless Women and Children 
obliged to Sculk in the Mountains and perish — or travel 
down to the Inhabitants, hungry, naked & unsupported, 
in a word Language is to weak to paint, & Humanity un- 
able to bear the history of their Sufferings — The Refugees 

~who joind \ e Indians to cut off this settlement, are said 
to have given proofs of more wanton and unnatural Bar- 
barity than even the Savages themselves — The following 
is a deeper Tragedy than has been acted since the Days of 
Cain. A Young man bv the Xatne of Henrv Pensil. who 
had escaped the fate of most of his Countrymen. & in the 
Evening after the Battle had taken refuge on a small 


Island in the River, was discovered by a Tory who fiercely 
accosted him with the Appellation of a Damnd Rebel: the 
poor fellow being unarmed began to implore his pity, fell 
down upon his knees and entreated him not to stain his 
hands with his Brothers blood, "John, I am your brother, 
spare my Life and I will serve you:" I know you are 
my Brother replied the Villain; but you are a damnd 
Rebel, Henry, and we are of opposite sides and Senti- 
ments — in the mean time was loading his gun with great 
coolness, which after the most moving appeal to his hu- 
manity iS: Justice, with all deliberation he levelled at his 
breast and shot him! then Tomahawked, & scalpd him! 
another young man who lay concealed in the bushes a 
little way off, & afterwards made his Escape, heard all that 
passed,- and saw the Murderer, who stood up upon a 
log while he loaded his Gun, and knew him to be the 
Brother of his unfortunate companion: He also adds that 
the Savages came up soon after he had finishd the bloody 
deed: and cursed his cruelty in the bitterness of their hearts 
& said they had a great mind to put him to death the 
same way — 

24 This Evening one of the Centries fired upon a Savage, 
whoyhad crept up within 2 or 3 Rods of him in oider to 
take him by Supprise but the fellow made his escape — 

25 & 26 Nothing happened worthy Notice — 

27 The 2 d & 3 d N Hampshire Reg ts were orderd to move 
off thejr ground and pitch upon the plains of Abraham. 3 
Miles higher up on the Western bank of the Susquehanna, 
in ore r to be more convenient to Cillers and Courtlandts 
Reg ts . who composed part of Poors Brigade: and had 
been lying some time on Jacobs 'plains — The place o( 
our Camp near an old Stockade fort, built by the Inhabi- 
tants and call'd Forty Fort Tron^ao Person^ to whom the 
grant of the Wyoming lands was made by the C»over- 
ment of Connecticut — 


28 Gen 1 Sullivan reed a Letter from Gen 1 Clinton, dated 
Schoharra, advising that he was furnishd with 3 Months 
Provissions, 1700 effective men with him present, & 300 
more at another post ready to join him, & was waiting his 
Commands. — Same Letter adds that he had taken & hanged 
a British Officer, a Spy, who was going from Butlers Army 
to N York — by the Same Express we learn from Gen 1 . 
Clinton that the Oneida tribe of Indians had reed a Letter 
from Gen 1 . Haldiman, Governor of Quebec, charging them 
with a breach of faith, & breathing out threatenings against 
them, if they did not declare in favor of Britain — 

30 th Cilleys <S: Courtlandts Reg ls were musterd — 

July I st . Michael Rosebury & Lawrence Miller, inhabitants 
of Sussex county of N Jersey being convictd by court 
Martial, held at East Town 3 d June Gen 1 Maxwell presi- 
dent, for enticeing Soldiers of the American Army to de- 
sert, <\: sentenced to suffer death, were brought on with 
the Provost «\: this day led forth to the place of Execution 
where the former was hanged and the latter reprieved — 

2 d Rode out this Morning with Gen 1 Poor & Lieu* Col Dear- 
born about 4 Miles from Camp to view the ground where 
the battle was fought between the Savages and the people 
of Wyoming under Col Butler, we saw a Stockade fort 
with a covert Way to a fountain which our guide told us 
was built for a shew by some of the disaffected Inhabi- 
tants *\: given up to the Enemy immediately upon their 
Approach, \fe examined the Trees where the line of Battle 
was formd- but found very few marks of an Obstinate 
Engagement: it appears indeed that the Enemy were 
superior in numbers to the Militia and soon after the 
Commencement of the Action turned their left (lank, this 
brought on a retreat, in which the Savages massacred \:\>- 
wards of 200 Men — We saw more or les^ o( bones scattered 
• over the "ground for near two miles, & several Sculls 
brought in at different times, that had been Scalpd and 


inhumanly mangled with the Hatchet — A Cap ts Commis- 
sion with seventeen Continental Dollars was found in the 
pocket of the Skeleton of a man, who had laid above 
ground 12 months — Our guide shewed us where 73 Bodies 
had been buried in one hole this place may with propriety 
be called Golgotha All the Houses along this River have 
been burnt; and the Gardens and Fields the must fertile 
I ever beheld, grown over with weeds and Bushes, exhibit 
a melancholy picture of savage rage and Desolation. 

3 d . Anniversary of the battle & Destruction of the Settlement 
of Wyoming — 

4 Anniversary of American Independence declared by Con- 
gress July 4 1776 at Philadelphia: this Day being Sunday 
the Celebration was defferred till next day, when Brigad 1 " 
Gen 1 Poor gave an Entertainment to the Officers of his 
Brigade 87 of whom were present — 
After Dinner the following 13 Patriotic Toasts were drank — 

1 July 4 th . 1776 The memorable j£rra of American In- 

2 United States 

3 The grand Council of America 

4 Gen 1 Washington and the Army 

5 Gen 1 Lincoln <Sc the Southern Army 

6 Gen 1 Sullivan & Western Expedition 

7 King & Queen of France 

8 May the Counsellors of America be wise and her Sol- 


diers invincible 

9 A Successful & decisive Campaign 

10 Civilization or death to all American Savages 

11 The Immortal memory of those Heroes that have 
fallen in defence of American Liberty 

12 May the new World be the last Asylum for Freedom 


and the Arts 

13 May the husban,dmans Cottage be blest with peace 
and his fields with plenty — 

. GEN. S ULL I VA N ' S EXP EDI 77 OX. 22$ 

The whole of the Entertainment seemed to be conducted 
with such joy and festivity, as demonstrated an indepen- 
dent elevation of Spirit on this important and interesting 
Occasion — 

5 th . Advices from Juniatta, the West branch of the Susque- 
hanna, that a party of Indians had set upon and Scalpd 9 
of the Inhabitants — 

6 Early this morning one Winslow, a Soldier belonging to 
the 3 d N Hamp Reg', went to bathe and was drown'd — 
About 8 °Clock an uncommon black *S: heavy cloud arose in 
the East with uncommon distinct claps of Thunder like 
the report of a Cannon followed by a Severe Shower of rain 
& hail some of the hailstones were as large as hens eggs — 

7.8.9. No News — 

10 A Detachment of 150 Men from i & 2 d N Hampshire 
Regim ts was sent towards Easton to Escort some Stores 
and Repair the roads 

n Our Officers reed their commissions from Congress on the 
new Arrangement — 

12 Three Companies of the German Reg 1 , deserted 

13 We reed a Visit from Col Butler and his Lady & h doz 
Young Ladys from Wyoming with whom we pass an 
agreeable afternoon: Col Butler shewd us a death Ma.ll, 
or war Mallet that the Indians left by a Man they had 
knocked on the head: the handle resembles that of a 
hatchet, with a string drawn thro near the end to hold it 
by — It is mate of the Root of a Tree with a large ball 
worked on the head of it, & looks not much unlike a four 
pound Shott in the Bill of an Eagle, with a tuft of feathers 
on the Crown: the end of the handle shows the face of a 


15 We learn from the Eastward that the main body of the 
British Army have retired from Kings ferry on Hudsons 
River, leaving 6 Reg ts to keep that post — 

16 Rode out v;ith Gen is Sullivan Maxwell l\i Poor & several 
other Gentlemen to View the ground where the two 
Butlers fought 

17 By advices from Connecticut, the Enemy have made an 
incursion into that State, and burned Fairfield and plun- 
dered New Haven — * 

18 Nothing remarkable 

T9 _ 


21 We reed a Letter from Major Gibbs of his Excellences 
Guard advising that in the night of the 15 Ins 1 . B. Gen 1 .. 
Wayne with the Light Infantry had Supprized and taken 
the Fort at Stoney point near Kings ferry on Hudson's 
River, by which important Enterprise upwards of 500 
British & new Levies with all their Cannon, War like 
Stores and Baggage fell into our hands — 

23 Made an Exclusion to Lachawanunch about S Miles on a 
party of pleasure with Lieu 1 Col Dearborn, Cap 1 . Fogg & 
Rev d M r Evans, staid out nil night and returned next day 
— a Guard of 20 men from Poors Brigade was sent up to 
this place to protect some of the Inhabitants till they 
mowed their grass and reaped their grain that grew spon- 
taneous^' from last years crop ungalhered — wherever we 
rode the same sad Scene of Ruin and desolation appeared — 

24 Gen 1 Ha. id arrived at Wyoming from Sunsbury with 70 
boats laden with provissions for our Expedition — 

25 Five Soldiers belonging to the German Reg : were sen- 
tenced by Court Martial to be shot for desertion — 

26 The five deserters sentenced to/uffer death Yesterday 
were reprieved 

27 Gen 1 Poors Brigade marchd from Fort} fort to Wyoming 


in order to be convenient to fall in with the line of march — 
2S Nothing remarkable — • 

29 Reed Orders to march towards Tioga — next day Gen 1 Sul- 
livan reed a Letter from Northumberland — 

30 Copy of the Letter 

The Enemy yesterday made themselves masters of Freelands fort 011 
the West branch of Susquehanna upon terms of Capitulation Viz. 
The men to remain prisoners of War; the whole Garrison to be plun- 
derd by the Indian>; the Women to go free — the number of the Ene- 
my appearing before the fort about 250, one third British, the residue 
were Savages, togather with a Corps de Reserve of 100 More at some 
distance: the whole under the command of Cap 1 M>"I)onald, we have 
now at Northumberland about 150 to oppose the Enemy & protect 
the Women £: Children, whom it is impossible to get off — We expect 
to be attacked every hour as we are the most frontier garrison & fear 
without some speedy Assistance, rriust fall a prey to Savage Tyrants — 
The Enemy have collected all the Cattle & every thing Valuable as 
they came on — We beg leave to give it as our opinion that a party 
of men thrown across the Country will retake the plunder and every 
thing else 

Wm. Cooke 1) Q M. C— 

X. B. The number killd in Action were Cap*. Hawkins Boon & 40 
men, after the Capitulation, who were on a Scout and had not heard 
of the Surrender of the Garrison — 

The Acc ls we reed from the Delaware at Minisings on 
the 29 th 3 re more favorable than at first Represented — 
The Tories ad Savages made a descent upon that Settle- 
ment cvi having burned several Houses, Darns &£. were 
attackd by a Reg 1 , of .Militia who repulsed & pursued 
them a considerable distance — Forty men were killd on 
our side the Col" & Major included — 'The Enemy's loss 
unknown \> hear Gen 1 Clinton with the main Body of 
the British Army is moving up Hudsons river — 
The Army Under Gen 1 Sullivan reed orders to march to- 
morrow Morning — 

31 After a great deal of trouble in fitting ami loading the 
boats & in fixing the Pack Horses for the march, we moved 
from Wvomins* at 1 "Clock, in the following order — 


Gen 1 Hands Brigade a mile in front to act as light Troops 
— Gen 1 Maxwells & Poors, then the Pack Horses about 
1 200 in Number, followed by about 500 head of Cattle — 
One Reg 1 for rear Guard — 200 men as a flank Guard on 
the Right & 60 men on our left by the River — 
Col. Procters<Rcg t of Artillery go by Water with about 120 
Boats with provissions and Stores — a Cap 1 & 60 men march 
on the opposite side of the River to Scour the Shore *\: pre- 
vent Ambuscades being formd — we marchd about 10 Miles 
and encampd near a Stream calld Lachawanunck which 
falls into the Susquehanna at this place — The land here is 
. level and exceeding fertile, but now desolated and the 
houses burnt by the Savages; the Inhabitants having 
shared the fate of their Neighbors at Wyoming — 
We have had a remarkably wet Season for a Fortnight 
past which still continues — 
August I st Sunday 

We lay still this morning waiting for fair Weather & the 
Arrival of our boats — Afternoon 4 "Clock we Struck Tents 
(the Weather being favorable & boats arriving) & marchd 
to Quilutimack 7 Miles the difficulty of the Way along the 
foot of the Mountain that jutted down upon the River, 
gave inconceivable Embarcssments to the Troops as well 
as to 'the pack horses & Cattle, so that the former did not 
arrive at the place of Encampment before 9 oClock nor 
the latter with the Rear guard till next Morning — About 
3 Miles from Quilutimack is a romantic fall of Water down 
a Precipice in the Cliff of a Rock 70 feet high — In this 
I)a\ march we passd over a large tract of good land — 
2 d The Army lay Still on this ground to rest and recruit the 
pack horses & collect the Keggs of tlowr, Ammunition and 
other baggage that was left behind from the perplexity of 
the Way and darkness of the Ni*ht — The morning shewd 
us that the ground we encampd on had been inhabited 
and tilled, tho now over run with Grass and Thistles of a 


mighty growth — a wild enormous mountain lay close on 
our front & the River in our Rear — We drew the Seine at 
this place and caught a number of fish consisting chiefly 
of Rock, Pike, 1 Garr, Chubbs & Suckers — next Morning 
at 7 oClock — 
3 d We proceeded 12 Miles farther, over a much better Coun- 
try than we expected and encampd in an old Field, near 
the Mouth of a Small river that falls here into the Susque- 
hanna calld TiuikJiauriuck — Nothing remarkable happened 
thro this days march — the Deer seemd to be plenty on this 
ground — a large Fawn that lay Sulking in the Bushes 
alarmd with the noise of the Troops attempted to make 
his escape, but being entirely surrounded was taken with- 
out a wound — Affording great amusement to the Soldiers 
& and an agreeable Viand to several of the Officers — 

4 The General beat and we struck Tents at 6 "Clock this 
Morning and marchd 13 Miles by Actual Survey — we 
passd several places that were once the habitations of re- 
tirement and domestic peace — but now the Solitary haunts 
of Savages, the last stood near a small rapid river calld 
Meshopping; we encamped 2 or 3 miles beyond this Stream 
on a desolate Farm, the property of one VanJelip who had 
joind the Savages and gone off — This day several large 
Rattle Snakes w'ere killd — our little Fleet found great, difti- 
culty &. Embarassment from the Shoals & Rapids, so 
that they did not come up with the Army till 10 the next 
day — Immediately upon their Arrival the Troops were put 
in motion — Thefand we passd over this day is fine to admi- 
ration & the gr nth of Walnut the Stateliest I ever saw — 

5 Our next place of Encampment is Wyalusing, distant 10 
miles the Ground rocky and Mountainous, particularly one 
tremendous ridge, over which our tight Flank was Obliged 
to pass, that seemd to over look the World & threaten 
Annihilation to our. prostrate Troops — After leaving this 
place the Scene opened into a fine, clear, extensive peice 



of Wood land; here the Gen 1 apprehending an attack the 
Signal was beaten for the Army to close Column this or- 
der of march was observed till we left this forrest and 
gaind the Summit of averry lofty Mountain; when another 
Signal was given for marching in files — From the Tup of 
this height we had a grand prospective view of our little 
Fleet corning up the River at about 3 Miles distance — The 
green hills as far as the eye could reach rising like the 
seats of an Amphitheatre and the distance of the prospect 
gave the River and boats the beautiful Resemblance of 
Miniature painting — After marching ab c . 2 Miles we de- 
scended into the low grounds of Wyal using where every 
one was amazed at the luxuriant growth of Timber chiefly 
Sycamore — few of. the Trees being less then 6 feet in 
Diametre and to close this days march the more agreeably 
after passing half a mile of a piny barren, the plains of 
Wyalusing opened to our sight coverd with english grass. 
the greenest and Richest carpet that Nature ever Spread 
— There was once an Indian Town at this place consist- 
ing of about 80 houses, or hutts built in two parallel right 
lines forming a Street of 60 or 70 feet wide; with a church 
or Chapel in the Centre the plan of the Town is still 
to be seen from the old Ruins that Remain on the ground 
— The Natives it seems had actually embraced the Chris- 
tian Religion which was taught them by a Moravian Mis- 
sionary from Bethlehem for that purpose in the Year 1770 
the Connecticut Company having purchased the lands on 
this River, the Indians retired farther Westward, and left 
this place in the possession of a few Americans, who have 
joind tuv. Enemy since the commencement of this War — 
notwithstanding the Settlement has been over run by the 
Savages and the Town burnt — The Susquehanna at this 
place makes nearly a right Angle, and forms a point on 
which the Town stood, and where Gen 1 Sullivans Army*' 
lay two Days encamped — 


8 th . Sunday Morning 7 °Clock moved on towards Tioga, and 
Encamped on a peice of low ground by the River, where 
there has been a Settlement *Sc 4 families dwelt in the Year 
1775 — this place is calld Standing Stone Bottom — Cap 1 
Spalding who commands the Independent company in 
Gen 1 Hands light Troops, lived at this place — distance 10 
9 Marched at 6 this morning & halted to breath near a cold 
stream calld Wesawking — about 33 Miles from last' en- 
campment — Then pursued our rout without rest or re- 
freshment 12 Miles farther the Weather hot and men 
much fatigued, this brings us to Sheshukonuck bottom a 
large meadow of near 150 Acres lying on the Susquehanna, 
covered with a vast burthen of wild grass — we rested here 
this Evening and next day and Wednesday Morning — 

n The Army reed orders to march to Tioga, about two Miles 
from Sheshekonunck plain the troop forded the river 
where the Stream was rapid and pretty deep, notwithstand- 
ing the Men all came safe over, except one who was car- 
ried down the Current a considerable distance, and saved 
by Lieu 1 Col Barber Adj c Gen 1 at the hazzard of his own 
Life — The Cattle and pack Horses were as fortunate as 
the Troops — After advancing about one mile through a 
rich bottom covered with strong and stately Timber which 
shut out the Sun, &: shed a cool agreeable twilight; we 
unexpectedly were introduced into a Plain as large as that 
of Sheshekonunck, call'd Queen Piasters Plantation — it 
was on this plain near the bank of the Susquehanna that 
Easter Queen of the Seneca Tribe, dwelt in Retirement 
and Sullen Majesty, vaOtached from all the Subjects oi her 
Nation — The ruins of her Palace are still to be seen: sur- 
rounded with fruit Trees of various kinds — At the East 
end of the plain, the Tioga River form* a junction with 
the Susquehanna — At this place the Army forded & en- 
camped about half a mile above on the Susquehanna — We 


,' now find ourselves happily arrived at Tioga, with our 
Army <\: Fleet, our Troops generally in health and spirits; 
and fewer accidents happening on the march thap could 
be expected in the same distance, thro a Mountainous, 
wild, uncultivated Country — It appears by the Number of 
hides lying on the ground that the Indians have lately had 
an Encampment at this place — By the place of burial seen 
here, one would be led to think this was once an Indian 
Town, but there are no Vestiges of Hutts or Wiggwoms — 
Whether through principle- of Avarice or Curiosity, our 
Soldiers dug up several of their graves and found a good 
many laughable relicts, as a pipe, Tomahawk & Beads &c — 
12 th The Gen 1 gave orders for a fort and four Block houses to 
be built at this place for the Security of the Fleet and 
Stores which are to be left here under a pretty strong 
Garrison, after the Army moves into the Indian Country 
— and this movement will take place as soon as Gen 1 Clin- 
ton, who is coming down the Susquehanna, joins us with 
his Brigade — This afternoon Intelligence came by a small 
scout sent out yesterday, that the Enemy at Chemoung, 
an. Indian Town 15 Miles distant up the Cayuga branch, 
were about moving off upon hearing of our Arrival at 
Tioga — in consequence of which the main body of our 
Army marched at S °Clock this Evening in order to' be 
ready by Day break for surprising Chemoung; our march 
was attended with difficulty .$: fatigue, having a thick 
Swamp and several dangerous defiles to pass, — We arrived 
however before the Town between dawning & Sun rise, 
but to'ou* no small mortification found the Town aban- 
doned &: two or three Indians only to be seen sculking 
away — According to the accounts of those who pretend to 
be acquainted with Indian Citys, this seems to have been 
a pretty Capital place — It„ consisted of about 40 Houses 
built chiefly with split and hewn Timber, covered with 
bark and some other rough materials, without Chimnies, 


or floors, there were two larger houses which from some 
extraordinary rude Decorations, we took to be public 
Buildings; there was little Furniture left in the Houses, 
except Bearskins, some painted feathers, Ov: Knicknacks — 
in what we supposed to be a Chappie was found indeed 
an Idol, which might well enough be Worshipd without a 
breach of the 2 d Command', on account of its likeness to 
anything either in heaven or Earth — About Sun rise *he 
Gen 1 gave orders for the Town to be illuminated — & ac- 
cordingly we had a glorious Bonfire of upwards of 30 
Buildings at once: a melancholy & desperate Spectacle to 
the Savages many of whom must have beheld it from a 
Neighboring hill, near which we found a party of them 
had encamped last night — : And from appearances the in- 
habitants had left the Town but a few hours before the 
Troops arrived — Gen 1 Hand with some light Infantry pur- 
sued them about a mile, when they gave him a Shot from 
the Top of a Ridge, & ran according to their Custom, as 
soon as the fire was return'd; but unfortuneately for us, 
the Savages wounded three Officers, killed Six men and 
wounded seven more — they were pursued but without 
effect — Our next Object was their fields of Indian Corn — 
about 40 Acres of which we cut down and distroyed — In 
dointr this Business, a party of Indians and Tories, fired 
upon three Regim ts across the River, killed one and 
wounded five — having compleated the Catastrophe of the 
Towns & fields, we arrived at Tioga about Sun set the 
same day, verry much fatigued having march'd not less 
Chan 34 mile's in 24 hours, without rest in the Extreamest 
heat — 

14 th . No news to Day 

15 th . Nine Hundred chosen men under the Command of Brig: 
Gen 1 Poor are ordered to march "Tomorrow morning up 
the Susquehanna, to meet Gen 1 Clinton, who is on his 
march to join Sullivans Army with his Brigade and is in 



some Danger of being Atackted by the Enemy before he 
can form a Junction with our Main Army; This afternoon 
a Small Party of Indian's fired on some of our Men who 
were without the Guards after some Horse's, and Cattle, 
Killd and Sculped one man and Wounded another, a 
Party was sent out in pursuit of them but Could not come 
up with them — 

16 th General Poor March'd with his Detachment at 10 ©'Clock 
A M. proceeded in two Collam's up the Suscuhannah 
River Over very rough Ground we In camp t Near the Ruins 
of an old town Call'd Macktowanuck the Land near the 
River is very Good — 

1 7 th . We marchd Early this Morning Proceed 12 Miles to Owa- 
gea an Indian Town which was Deserted last Spring, after 
Planting, About the town is many Fruit Trees and many 
Plants, and Herbs, that are Common in our part of the 
Country; Hear is a Learge body of clear Intivale Covered 
with Grass, Our March to day Very Survear and Fatigue- 
ing Esspecelly for the Left Collom (to which I belong) as 
we had to pass Several Steap Hills, and Morasses — 

18 th We March'd Early this Morning proceeded 14 Miles to 
Choconant the Remains of a Learge Indian Town which 
has been likewise Abandoned this Summer, here we found 
Plenty of Cucombar's, Squashes, Turnips &c, We found 
About twenty Houses, Which we burnt our Days March 
has been More Survear than Yesterday, as we had bad 
Hills and Swamps, one swam}) of about two Miles so 
Covered with Large Pines, Standing and lying which ap- 
peafd is tho' Several Harieanes had been busy among 
since which a Tremendius Groath of Pushes About twenty 
feet high has sprung up so very thick as to Render the 
passing through them Inpractible by any troops but such 
as Nothing but Death can "stops — at sunset we were Very 
agreeably alarm'd by the Report of a Cannon up the River 
Which was supposed to be General Clintons KvcningGwn — 


19 th Our Troops were put in Motion very early this Morning 
after Marching about one Mile Gen 1 Poor Received an 
Exspress from General Clinton Informing him that the 
Latter exspected to be hear by 10 °'Clock A M. this day 
in Consiquence of which we Return'd to our Old In- 
campment where General Clinton, Joind us at 10 °'Clock 
with two Thousand Men — Including Officers, Boatsman 
&.c. he has two Hundred and Eight Beautoes with Pro- 
visions Ammunition &c after Mutual Congratulations 
and Complements the whole Proceeded down the River 
to Owagea and Incampt this Evening, the town of Owegea 
was made a burnfire of to Grace our Meating our General 
Course from Tiago to Choconant is about N. East — 

20 th We have very heavy Rain to day and no tents but we are 
obliged to ride it out — 

21 st We March'd early Proceeded within 10 miles of Tiago — 

22 d We March at 6 of the Clock and at n arrived in Camp 
where we were Saluted With thirteen Cannon and a tune 
of Colonel Procters Band of Musick — 

23 We are prepairing to March with all Possible Exsperdition 
about five °Clock this afternoon a Very shocking acsident 
happend in our Camp, a soldier Very accidently Dischargd 
a Muskett Charge! with a ball and Several Buck shott. 
three of Which unfortinately struck Captain Kimbell of 
Colonel Cilleys Regiment who was standing at some Dist- 
ance in a tent with several other officers in such a Manner 
that he Exspired within 10 or 15 Munits — is Universally 
Lemented as he was assteamed by all who knew him — one 
of the Shott wounded a soldier, in the leg who was some 
Distance from the tent that Captain Kimble was in 

24 th The Remains of the Unfortinate Captain Kimble was In- 
ter'd at 11 "Clock with the Honours of War — Attended by 
General Poor and almost all the oiiicers of the Brigade 
with Colonel Procter's Band of Musick — the Army is Very 
busy in Prepairing to March — 


25 th We find Great Difficulty in Gitting Ready to March for 
want of a Sufficiently Number of Horses to Carry' our 
Provitions Ammunition &g. However we are to Move to 
Morrow without fail with Twenty Seven Days Flower and 
live Beef Our whole force that will March from hear is 
about five Thousand Men officers Included, with nine 
Pieces of Artilery, — and three of the Anyda YVarriers Ar- 
rived hear this afternoon who are a going on with ous as 
Guides — two Runner's Arrived from Colonel Broadhead 
at fourt Pitt — Informing that Colonel Broadhead is on his 
way with about Eight Hundred Men against the Western 
Indians — 

26 th Our Army March at 12 °Clock in the order laid down in 
the Plan and Order of March & Battle a Garrison of about 
three Hundred Men left at this Place under the Command 
of Colonel Shreve the Army Proceeded about 4 Miles and 
Incampt — Mr. Lodge a Gentleman who Survey'd Marchd 
from Easton with us is going on with us in Order to take 
an Actual Survey of the Country who measured the Road 
as We go on — 

27 th The Army Marched at Eight °Clock, our March was Yery 
much Impeaded by the Artilery and Ammunition Wag- 
gons which we have to Clear a Road for through thick 
Woods & Difficult Defiles the Army are obligd to Hah 
Seven Hours to Day at one Defile for the Artilery & Bag- 
gage — at 10 "Clock we arrived at our Incamping Ground 
a learge body of Clear Intervale where we found Seventy 
or Eighty Acres of line Corn our March has not been more 
than 6 V 'es to 1 >ay — 

28 th As we had the Corn to destroy before we March it was two 
"'Clock P. M. before we moved off the Ground by Reason 
of a High Mountain that shutt Down to the River so as to 
Render Passing with the Artilery Impractable we Wear 
obligd to fourd the River twice before we could git to 
Shunning witli the Artilery Tack Dorses and one Brigade 


the Water was so deep as Rendered fourding Very Diffi- 
cult & Dangerous — A Considerable quantity of lower am- 
munition and other Baggage was lost in the River at 10 in 
the evening the Rear of the Army arrived at Shemung 
where we Incampt, our March to day has not been more 
than four Miles, a small Scout of ours arrived to day 
which Inform'd that they Discover'd a large Incampment 
about 6 Miles from Shemung a small Party of Indians fired 
on a small Party of our men to day that ware setting fire 
to some Houses over the River, but did no Damage — 
29 th The army March'd at Nine °'Clock A. M. proceeded 5 
Miles where our light Troops Discovered a line of Brest- 
work about eighty Rods in their frunt, which upon Recon- 
iting, was found to exstend half a mile in length on very 
Advantageous Ground, with a large Brook in frunt, the 
River on their Right, a High Mountain on their left, and 
a large settlement in their Rear, called Newtown; their 
works ware very Artfully Mask'd with Green Bushes, so 
that I think the Discovering them was Accadental as it 
Fortinate to us, Schurmishing on both sides Commins'd 
soon after we Discover'd their works which Continued un- 
til) our Disposition was made which was as follows (viz) — 
The Artilery'to form in frunt of their works, Coverd by 
General hand Brigade, General Poor's and Riflemen to 
turn the Eneinys left, and fall in their Rear surported by 
General Clintons Brigade, General Maxwells Brigade to 
form a Corps Deserve; the left flanking Division and lite 
Infantry to Persue the Enemy when they left their works, 
"at 3 °'Clo( k \ M. General Poor's began his march by 
Columns from the right of reg 1 by files we Passd a very 
thick Swamp so Coverd with bushes for near a mile that 
we found great difficulty in keeping in order but by Gen 1 
Poor's Great Prudanee and Good Couduct We Proceeded 
in Much better order then I Kxspeeted we could Possibly 
have done — after Passing this Swamp we Inclind to the 


left, crossed the Creek that runs frunt of the Enemys 
ivork: on both sides of this was a large Number of New 
Houses, but no land Cleard; soon after we passd this 
Creek we began to assen'd the Mountain that coverd the 
Enemys left, Immediately after we began to assend the 
Mountain we ware surluted by a brisk fire from a body of 
the Indians who were posted on this Mountain for the 
Purpose of Preventing any troops Turning the left of their 
Works, at the same Instant that they began to fire on us, 
they rais'd the Indian Yell, or war hoop the Riflemen kept 
up a Scattering fire while we form'd the line of Battle 
which which was dun Exceeding quick — we then advanced 
Rapped with fix'd Bayonetts with out fireing a Gun till we 
had gained the Summett of the Hill, which was half a mile, 
altho' they kept a stady fire on us all the while; we then 
gave them a full Voley which obliged them to take to 
their heels, Colonel Reeds Regiment whis was on the left 
of the Brigade, was more servearly Attacted then any other 
part of the Brigade, with Prevented his advancing as fast 
as the Rest, as we assended the Mountain Lieu 1 Cass of 
our Regiment Tommahawked one of the Indians with the 
Indians own Tommahawk that was slightly wounded, our 
Regiment being next to Colonel Reed's on the left and 
the Colonel finding he was still very warmly Engag'd nearly 
on the same Ground he was first attacted ordered the 
Regiment to face to the Right about and moved to his 
assistance, we soon Discoverd a body of Indians, Turn- 
ing his Right, which he Turned about by a full fire from 
the Re^iuient, This was a Very seasonable. Relief to 
Colonel Reed who was the very moment we fired on them 
that were turning his right, found himself so Surrounded 
that he was Reduced to the Necessity o( Retreating or 
Making a Desperate push with tl*e Ha\onett: the latter 
of which he had put in Execution the moment we gave 
him Relief; The Enemy now all left the field o\ Acti 


with precepitation and in Great Confusion Persued by 
our Light Infantry above 3 Miles They left a Number of 
their Packs, Blanketts &:.c. on the Ground — half an hour 
before the Action became serious with General Poor's 
Brigade, the Artilery began to play upon their works — 
which soon made their works, too warm for them, we 
found of the Enemy on the field of Action n Indians 
Warriers dead and one Sqaw, took one whiteman & one 
Xegro Prisoners; from whom we larnt that Butler Com- 
manded hear, that Brant had all the Indians that Could 
be Mustered in the five Nations that there was about 200 
Whites, a few of which were British Regular's Troops, it 
seem's that their whole force was about 1500. — The Pris- 
oners Inform us that their loss in killd and wounded was 
Very Great — the most of which they According to Cus- 
tome carried off — our loss in General Poor's Brigade, 
killd and Wounded is (viz*) 

Killd Wounded 

Maj r o 1 Maj r Titcumb 

Cap 1 o 1 Cap 1 Clays 

Lieu 1 o 1 Died the same nisrKt 

Leu 1 MacCaully 

Ens n o o 

Serj c 1 o 

Privates 2 29 

M. r 

3 32 

our loss [ 'Killd and Wounded in the whole Army except 
Gen 1 Poor's Brigade was Killd none wounded 4 Privates 
at Sunsett the Army Incampt on the Ground lately Occu- 
pied by the Enemy — 
30 th The Army Remain*! on the Ground -to day & Destroyd 
a vast Quantity of Corn and about 40 Houses — The Army 
by a Request of General Sullivan — Agreed to live on half a 
Pound oi Beef and half a Pound of flower Pr Day, for the 


future as long as it might found Necessary our Provisions 
being short — This night the sick and Wounded together 
with the Ammunition Waggons, and four of our Heavyest 
Pieces of Artilery, are sent back to Tiago by water, which 
will Finable the Army to proceed with much Greater ease 
and Rapidity our Course from Shemung to hear is about 
N. West— 

31 st We marchd at 10 °'Clock, The Right Collomn Marchd on 
the hill some Distance from the River The left Collomn 
and Artilery Marchd by the River The land we March'd 
over very fine found and Destroyd Several fields of Corn 
and Houses, Proceeded five miles to where the Alliganer 
and Kaiyugea Branches of the River unite — on the Point 
between these two Streames was a Very Prity town Calld 
Kannawalohalla, which from appearances was Deserted 
this morning — some Boats were seen by our advanced 
Party, going up the Allagana branch, a Number of feather 
beds were burnt in the Houses, our Soldiers found Several 
Large Chests Buried which were 111 1 cl with a Great Variety 
of household furniture and many other articles: after halt- 
ing hear an hour we Proceeded between the two Rivers 
on a fine Plain about 5 Miles and Incampt a Detachment 
was sent up the Alagana Branch in Pursuit oi the Enemy. 

Sep 1 i st . The Detachment that was sent up the River in Pur- 
suite of the Enemy Returnd this Morning, they Could not 
Overtake the Enemy, but found and Destroy *d Several 
large field of Corn — The Army Marchd at 10 v 'Clock pro- 
C "fded about 4 miles on a Plain then Came to what is 
Calld the Beir Swamp Which exstends to French Katoreen 
9 Miles, the Groth is Pine, Sprue and Hamlock — Exceed- 
ing thick, a Small River runs through it which we to 
(Toss about twenty times On ea&h side of this Swamp is a 
Ridge of Tremendious hills — which the Colomn were ob- 
liged to march on having a rode to open for the Artilery 
we proceeded very slowly at Dark when we had got within 


about 3 miles of the town we found ourselves in a Most 
horrid thick Mirery Swamp which Rendered our Proceed- 
ing so Difficult that it was 10 °'Clock in the evening before 
we arrived at the town where we found fires burning and 
every other appearance of the Enemys having left the 
town this afternoon, This town Consists of about 30 
Houses's and their is a Number of fruit trees in this town, 
the streams we Crossed so often to Day runs through this 
town and into the Seneca Lake, the South end of which is 
but 3 miles from this town. 

The Army laying Still to day to Recrute and Destroy the 
town Corn &c a Very old Squaw was found in the Bushes 
to day who was was not able to go off with the rest, who 
Informs us that Butler with the Torys went from this Place 
with all the Boats the day before yesterday, the Indian 
Warriers Moved off their familyes and Effects, yesterday 
Morning, and then Returned and stay'd till sun sett, 
she says the Squaws and young Indians were very loth to 
leve the town, but were for giving Themselves up, but the 
warriers would not agree to it, Several Horses and Cattle 
M-ere found at this Place, a Party of light troops were sent 
this morning to Indevour to over take some of the Indians. 
who left this place last evening, but Return'd without being- 
able to Effect it — 

The army March'd, at 8 o'Clock after proceeding 3 Miles 
over Rough G round Came oppersit the end of the Lake 
and then found good marching the land very fine pro- 
ceeded 9 miles and Incampt at 4 o'Clock P. M. near the side 
of the wl ake This lake is about 40 Miles in Length and 
from 2 to 5 miles wide and Runs Nearly North, and South — 
The Army march'd at 10 o'Clock proceeded 4 miles to a 
Small Village where we found Severed line fields oi Corn 
after Destroying the Village and Com Marchd 8 miles 
further and Incampt, the land we pass'd over to Day is 
Exceeding ujood — 


5 th The Army Marchd at 10 o'Clock, proceeded 5 miles to and 
Indian "town, Call'd Candaia or Appletown where their is 
an old orchard of 60 trees and many other fruits. The 
town Consists of 20 Houses, Very Beautifully situated 
near the lake, in the town are three Sepulchres which are 
very Indian fine, where I suppose that some of their Chiefs 
are Deposited, at this town we found a man by the Name 
of Luke Sweatland who was taken by the Savages at "Wy- 
oming last Summer and was adopted into an Indian family 
in this town Where has lived or Rather stayd 12 months, 
he appeard quite overjoyd at Meeting some of his Acquain- 
tance; from Wyoming who are in our Army, he says 
that the Savages were very much stratend for food, from 
April till the corn was fitt to Rost, that his being kept so 
short on't for Provisions Prevented his attempting to De- 
sert altho' he had frequent op port unity es by being sent 20 
miles to the salt Spring to make salt, which spring he says 
afforded Salt for all the Savages in this part of the Country, 
he says that the Indians were very much allarm'd, and 
Dejected at being beat at Newtown they told him they had 
a Great many wounded which they sent of by Water, we 
Destroyd Great quantities of Corn here, an Kxspress ar- 
rived this afternoon from Tiago by which we had Account 
that Alpner Dearborn was Dead he was wounded at New- 
town — 

6 th The Horses and Cattle were so scatterd this morning that 
the Army Could not march untill 3 o'Clock P M. proceeded 
3 miles and Incampt oppersit to where we Incampt on the 
oth^r side of the Lake we Discover'd, a Settlement where 
We could see some Indians driving Horses — 

7 th We took up our March at 7 oClock. proceeded 8 Miles and 
Came to the end of the Lake, where we Kx spec ted the 
enemy would give us another Hat tie, as they might have a 
very great advantage over us as we forded the outlet! of 
the Lake, when we arrived in' sitfht v( the ford we halted. 


and Several Scouts were sent out to Reconitree, the Ad- 
jasent wood when we found the Course was Clear, the 
army passd the ford proceeded 3 Miles by the end of the 
Lake, and found a small Settlement which we Destroyd — 
the Village and proceeded 2 Miles from the Lake, and 
Arrived at a large town Calld Kannadasaga which is Con- 
sidered as the Capital of the Senecas and is Calld the 
Senecas Castle. It Consists of about 40 Houses very Ir- 
reguallerly Situate in the Center of which is the Ruins of a 
Stockade fort and Blockhouse, here is a Considerable Num- 
ber of apple trees and other fruit trees and a few Acres of 
land Covered with English Grass. Their Cornfields which 
are very large are at some Distance from the town, we 
found in this town a White Child about three years old 
which we suppose was a Captive in the Houses was left a 
Number of things some Corn and many of their Curiosi- 
ties — 

8 th The army lay still to day the Riflemen were sent to De- 
stroy a town about 8 miles from hence on the west side of 
the lake calld Gagssonghgwa we found a Number of Stacks 
of hay not far from this town which we set fire to — a scout 
of ours burnt a town to day about 10 miles from this N. 
East on the Road to the Kauyuga Settlement Calld shai- 
yus or large falls— 

9 th . By Reason of a Rain last night the Army did not march 
till 12 o'clock, all our sick lnverlids were sent back this 
morning to Tiago under an asscort of 50 men we proceeded 
"3 miles through old fields Covered with Crass, then En- 
tered v *fiick swamp. Called the ten mile swamp we pro- 
ceeded lour miles in this swamp, with Great Difficulty 
Crossd a Considerable stream of Water ami Ineampt — 

10 th The army Marched at 8 o'Clock proceeded through the 
swamp and pas'd a large body o( Clear land March'd one 
mile and came to a small Lake calld Cannandaquah, we 
fourded the Outlet of this lake, proceeded one mile and 


came to a Very Pretty Town Called Cannandaquah, Con- 
sisting of about 30 Houses, Much better built Then any 
that I have seen before, Near this town Discover'd Large 
fields of Corn, near which we Incampt — Several Small 
partys were Order'd out to Destroy the Corn this after- 
noon — 
11 th The Army Marched at six o'Clock 14 miles to an Indian 
Town call Anyayea Situate on a body of Clear Intervale 
Land Near a Small Lake of the same name This town 
Consists of 11 Houses near it was Several Corn field, the 
land we Marchd over to day is very good and a Great 
part of it very thinly Wooded and Covered with Grass it 
appears as if it had be Cultivated too before — 

12 The Weather being fowle the army did not March till 12 
oClock, a Small fort assteblish'd hear, where we leave our 
Provisions and Ammunition Except what will be Neces- 
sary to carry us to Chenesee (about 30 miles) and bring 

-us back hear Again, one piece of Artilery is left hear at 
this Place, the Army Marchd 11 miles this afternoon over 
a body of Excellent land. 

13 March'd at 7 °'Clock proceeded 2 Miles to a Town Calld 
Kaneysas or Yucksea, Consisting of l 8 Houses Situate on 
an Exellant Intervale near a small lake we found a Large 
quantity of Corn, beens, Squash, Potatoes, Cucombers, 
Water Millions &e. &C. in & about this town the Army 
halted 4 Hour's to Destroy the Town, the Corn & to build 
a Bridge over a Creek — at this town live a very Great noted 
Warrier Calld the Great tree who has made great Preten- 
t''ns of Friendship to us and has been to Philadelphia and 
to General Washington's head Quarters since the War 
Commenced, and has Received a Number of presents from 
General Washington and from thtf Congress — Yet we sup- 
pose that he is with Butler against us, a Party of Riflemen 
and some others 26 in Number, under the Command of 
I.ieiu Boyd o\ the Rifle Corps was sen! out I a si night to a 


town 7 miles from here, to make what Discovry he could 
and to Return at day brake — 4 of his men went into the 
• town and found it abandoned, but found 3 or 4 scatering 
Indians about it one of which they killd & Sculp'd, 
then Return'd to Lieu 1 Boyd — after sunrise who lay at 
some Distance from the town — he then sent 4 men to Re- 
port to General Sullivan what he had Discover'd and 
Moved on slowly with his party towards Camp after he 
had proceeded about half way to Camp he halted some 
time exspecting the army to meet him. he after halting 
some time sent 2 men to Camp who Discoverd some Scat- 
tering Indians and Return'd to Lieu 1 Ik)yd again he then 
March'd on his party towards Camp Discoverd some scat- 
tering Indians one of which they Killd he soon found him- 
self Nearly Surrounded and Attackd by three Hundred In- 
dians and torys he after fighting them some time attempted 
to Retreat but found it Impractiable 6 or 7 of his Men 
did Make their Eascape the Remainder finding themselves 
Compleatly Surrounded ware Determined to sell them- 
selves as dear as possible and bravely fight on till every 
Man was killd but 2 Whites was taken one of which was 
Lieu 1 Boyd some of the men that made their esscape came 
to camp and Inform'd the General of the Matter, upon 
which General Hand with his light troops was sent to the 
Place of. Action but too late, they left all their Packs, Hutts 
P>aggage &c. When -the Action it began which General 
Hand found after he had fmishd the Bridge, the Army 
March on proceeded 7 miles to the before mentioned town 
and Int nipt, this town Consists of twenty two Houses, 
situate pn a small River that falls into the Chenesee River 
ab l 2 miles below here and is calld Gaghehegualahate. 
14 The General Exspected to have founcLthe Great Chenesee 
town within 2 miles of hear on this Side of the River but 
on Reconiting found that the town is (> miles from here 
and on the other side of the River the Army was Imployd 


~ untill 12 o'Clock in Destroying the Corn which we found 
in Great Plenty — At 12 oClock he marchd after fourding 
the small River that the town stands on, and passing 
through a small Grove of wood we enterd upon what is 
Calld the Great Chenesee Flatts, which is a vast body of 
Clear Intervale 12 or 14 miles up and down the River and 
Several miles back from the River on both sides and 
Covered with Grass from 5 to S feet high, and so thick 
that a man can get through it but very slowly — our Army 
appeard to Very Great advantage Moving on in the exact 
order of March laid down in the Plan — but Very often we 
that were on t Horseback could see nothing but the Mens 
Guns above the Grass — After Marching about two miles 
on this flatt we Came to the River, which we forded pass'd 
over a Body of Flatts on the other side and assended onto 
Oak land and proceeded 4 Miles and arrived to the town 
which we found Deserted, here we found the Bodys of 
- Lieu* Boyd and one other Man, mangled in a Most Horrid 
Manner, from appearance it seems that they were lied to 
two trees near which they lay and first they were survearly 
whip 1 , then their Tongues were Cutt out, their finger 
Xailes Pluck 1 of, their Eyes plucked out, then Speard in 
' Several Placess, and after they had Venterd their Hellish 
spite Cutt off their Heads and Skind them and then left 
them. This was a most Horried Spectable to behold — and 
from which we are taught the Necessity of fighting these 
more than Devils to the last moment Rather than fall 
into their hands alive — This is much the Largest town we 
-tiave met with it Consists of more than 100 Houses, is 
Situate on an Exelland Piece of Land in a large bow o\ 
the River; it appears that the Savages left this town in a 
Great Hurrv and Confusion, as they left large Quantities 
of Corn Huskd and some in Heeps not huskd and many 
other signs of Confusion — 
15 th At 6 oClock the whole Army was turnd out to Destroy the 


Corn in &: about this town which we found in great 
plenty, we were from 6 oClock to 2 oC k P. M. in Destroy- 
ing the Corn & Houses it is Generally thought we have 
Destroyd 20,000 Bushels of Corn at this place, The 
Method we took to Destroy it was to make large fires with 
parts of Houses and other wood and then piling the Corn 
on the fire which affectually Destroyd the whole of it a 
Woman with a Child came to us to day who was taken at 
Wyoming when that Place was Cutt off her Husband and 
one Child was killd and Sculped in her sight when she 
was taken, She Informed us that Butler and Brant with 
the Toryes & Indians left the Place in a Great Hurry the 
'13 th Instant and are gone to Niagara which is 80 miles 
from hence where they exspect that we are going. She 
says the Indians were very uneasy with Butler and their 
other leders and are in Great Distress, we have now go to 
the end of our Rout, and are turning our faces Homeward, 
at 3 oClock we faced to the Right about and Marchd in 
High Spirits Recrossing the Chenesee River and Incampt 
on the Chenesee Flatts, this place Lays about North West 
from Tiago — » 

16 th A Number of fields of Corn was Discoverd this Morning 
at Different places which Imployd the Army untill 10 
o'Clock in Destroying them At 1 oClock P M. we Recrossed 
at the stream Gaghehegwalahale and at 4 oClock arrived at 
Kanigsas or Chocksett and Incampt 14 of Lieu 1 Boyd's 
Party ware found Dead this afternoon near together 
Sculped, Honyose an Anyder Indian of Considerable 
note that w^is with Lieu 1 Boyd's was among the Dead — 

17 th The Army aiarchd at sunrise and at 10 oClock arrived at 
Anyoye where we found all safe — 

i8 ,h The army Marchd at 8 o'clock proceeded to Kannanda- 
quah and Incampt four Onyder Indiarts one of which is 
a Schecam met us to day who say that 100 oi the Ony- 
dars and Tuskororas set out with them to join us but 


meeting an Indian that Left us at^ Kannadasaga when 
we were advancing who told them we Marchd on so 
Rappadly that they could 'not Overtake us so as to be of 
any Service, they all Returned but these four — 

19 th The Army March'd to Kanadasagea an Exspress arrived 
from General Washington to day with Letters, by which 
we are assured that Spain has Declared War with 
England and that the Grand fleet of France and Spain, 
have formed a junction at Sea at several towns that our 
Army has Destroyed, we found Dogs hung up on Poles 12 
or 15 feet High which we are told is Done by way of 
Sacrifice, that when. they are unfortinate in war they Sac- 
rifice two Dogs in the Manner above Mentioned to Appease 
their Amaginary God one of the Dog skins they suppose is 

Converted into a* & the other into a Tobacco 

Pouch for their God, the Woman that came to us at 
Chinesee says that the Savages Hung up Dogs Immediately 
after the Battle at Newtown — 

20 th Five Hundred Men are Detachd under the Command of 
Colonel Butler who is to March round the Kaiyuga Lake 
and Destroy the Kaiyuga Settlement on the East end of 
the Lake 100 Men under the Command of Colonel Gannas- 
vorth are ordered to go and Destroy the Mohawk Ca>tle 
on' the Mohawk River and to proceed from thence on to 
Albany, the army Marchd this afternoon Cro&sd the Out- 
let of the Seneca Lake and Incampt 

21 st Two Hundred men was Ordered under the Comm' d of 
Colonel Dearborn to Proceed to the West side of the 
Kieyuga Lake, from thence to the South end, to Destroy 
v." it Settlement Corn &c we might find in our way at S 
o'clock we Marchd and proceeded N Last Corse about S 
Miles and found 3 Wigwam's in the woods and some 
small Paches of Corn St'piasb Water Millions Cueom- 
bers &c and about 15 Houses which we could not take. 

* l"iulcci|»!»lc— 


After Destroying this Little Village proceeded 4 miles to 
the Lake where we found a Very Pritty town, of 10 Houses 
and~ a .Considerable quantity of Corn all which we burnt. 
We Discoverd another town about one Mile above this 
which we likewise Destroyd Skannayutenatefc after De- 
stroying this town we Marchd one mile & came to a 
New town Consisting of Nine Houses Wriich we Destroyd 
and proceed one Mile & found one Large House which 
we set fire to & march'd on 2 Miles, further and Incampt 
the Land we March'd through to day is Exceeding fine — 

22 nd We marchd half an Hour before Sunrise proceeded about 
5 mile's and came to the Ruins of a town that a Party of 
our Men when the Army was advancing who missed their 
way and happend to fall in at -this town We found a Large 
field of Corn and 3 Houses, we Gethered the Corn and 
burnt it in the Houses, this town is Calld Swanyawanah 
We March'd from this place five miles and found a Wig- 
wam, with three Squaws and one young Indian who was a 
a Cripple — We took two of the Squaws who ware about 40 
years old and Marchd on about three Miles and found one 
Hutt and a field o Corn, wh'ich we Burnt and proceeded 
about four miles and Incampt — 

23 rd March'd at Sunrise proceeded without any path or track 
or any parson who was ever in this part of the Country 
before to Guide us, and the land is Horridly Rough, and 
Bushey that it was hardly Possable for us to advance how- 
ever with Great Difticultie and fatigue we proceeded 9 
Miles to the end of a Large Cape which we exspected 
was the end of the Lake but found it was not, from hear 
we Marchd * t * two or three Miles from the Lake and then 
proceeded by a Point of Compass 8 Miles and Came to 
the end of the Lake and Incampt this Lake is about forty 
miles long and from two to five miles in*Wedth and Runs 
nearly North and South Parralell with the Seneca. Lake 
and they are from 8 to 18 Miles apart — 


24 th Marchd at Sunrise proceeded about 3 Miles on the high 
land and Cam to a path which led us to two Hutts and 
some Corn fields after burning them Hutts and Corn 
Several Small parties was sent out Different ways to 
look for a large town we had been inform'd was not Many 
Miles from the end of the Lake — the parties found 10 or 
12 Scattering Houses and a Number of Large Corn fields 
on and Xear the Stream that falls into the Lake — after 
burning and Destroys Several Houses and Corn fields a 
Small Party was sent out and Discovered the town about 
3 Miles from the End of the Lake on the above mentioned 
Stream the town and its Sububs Consisted of about 25 
Houses and is Call'd Corcargonett and is the Capital of a 

Small Nation or Tribe Call'd our Party was Im- 

ploy'd from 9 o'Clock a' m, 'till Sunsett — we Exspected to 
have met Colonel Butler with his Party at this Town — 

25 th March 'd at Sunrise for Katareen's town where we was 
ordered to Join the Main Army We proceeded a Due 
West corse over a terrible Rough Mountain's Country 
about 4 oClock P. M. arrived at Katareens, but the army 
was gone forward, we proceeded six miles in what is Calld 
the Bear' swamp and Incampt 

26 th March'd at Sunrise and at 12 oClock Join'd the Main Army 
at Kannawalohala which is four miles from where we fought 
the Enemy the 29 th of August last, the Army had a Day 
of Rejoycing here yesterday in Consequence of the Xews 
from Spain— 

27 th Some Detachments were sent out on the Allagana River 
to Destroy what Houses and Corn field they might find — 

28 th Tlfre Same party that was Sent Yesterday ware sent again 
to Day, further up the River to Destroy a tory Settlement 
— That a Small party Disco ver'd yesterday and a Large 
Detachment was sent off lo Qpmpleat the Instruction <<: 
Corn at and about Newtown at 12 o'Clock Butler ar- 
rived with his party in Camp, on their Rout the hike they 


Burnt and Destroyd Several towns and a Vast Quantity 
of Corn — 

29 th The Army Marchd to Shemung — 

30 Arrived at Tiago where we Ware Saluted with 13 Cannon 
which we Answard with the same Number — Colonel Shreve 
who Commanded the Garrison made an Entertainment 
for the General and field Officers this afternoon the after- 
noon was Spend in festivity and Mirth Joy appeard in 
every Countenance, we now have finish'd our Campaign 
and Gloriously too — • 

Octr I st . We are Preparing to March to Wyoming 

2 d General Sullivan Made an Entertainment for all the Gen- 
eral and field off s to day This evening we had an Indian 
Dance at Head Quarters the Anydo Sachem was Master 
of the Ceremonies 

3 d The Army is prepairing to March for Wyoming — 

4 th The Army March'd fifteen miles down the River — 

5 th The Whole Army Imbark on board Boats Except was 
Necessary to Drive the Pack Horses and Cattle — 

7 th Arrived at Wyoming in High Spirits During the Whole 
of this Survear Campaign our Loss in Kill'd, Died, of 
Wounds & Sickness Did not Exceed fifty men — 

8 th General Sullivan Received an Exspress This Evening from 
General Washington Informing him that Count De East- 
ing is on the Coast Near New York with a fleet and Army 
— In Consiquence of Which General Sullivan's is Orderd 
to March the 16 th Instant for Head Quarters — 

9 th Nothing new to Day — 

10 th The Army March'd for Easton &c. — 

15 th Arived their th***Army has March'd from Tiago to Easton 
(156 Miles through a Mountainious Rough Wilderness) in 
8 Days with the Artilery, and Baggage, a Most Exstrod- 
inary March indeed — • 

1 6 th , 17 th , iS th Remaind at Easton, We are Informed that 
Count De Eastaing has taken Several Ships of War. to- 


gether with all the Transports and Troops, the Ene- 
my had at and Near Georgia, he is Expected Dayly at 
New York— 
25 th Our Army is to March the 27 th Instant toward Head 
Quaters — An Exspress arrived this Day from Head Qua- 
ters which Informs that the Enemy have avacuated Their 
port at Kings Ferry and have Retir'd to New York — 
General Sullivan's Army at Wyoming Consists of the troops 
following (viz*) — Maxwell's Brigade Consisting of Ogdons. 
Daytons, Shreaves and Spencer's Regiments — 
Poor's Brigade Consisting of, Cilieys, Reeds Scammells Court- 
lands Regiments — Hands Brigade Consisting of the German 
and Hubleys Regiments, Shots Corps and Spauldings Com- 
pany — . 

Wyoming July 31 st 1779 This Day the Army Marchd for Tiago 
in the following Order — 

Head Quarters Easton May 24th 1779 When the Army shall be fully Assem- 
bled the Following Arangements are to take place; — 

Lite troops Com- ) Hubleys Regiment 
manded by Gen- - Shots Corps — ■ 


al Hand ) Six Compy of Rangers 

Butlers Regiment — 
Morgans Corps 
and all the 
f Volatrers that 

I may Join the ar- 

J m y — 

) Cilieys, Reeds, Scammill 
Poor's Brigade to \ Sc Courtlands Regiments 
Consist of — ■ I to form the Right o{ the 

) first Line 

Maxwells Brigade ) Ogdon's Daytons 
to Consist of — ) Shreeves and 

# Spencers Regi- 

ments to form 

the left of the front 

Clinton'- Brigade | Late Livingston's "Pa- g 
to Consist of I bois's Garmsworths 

|-and Olden- Regiment 
J to form the second line 
I of Reserve — 


The Right of the first line to be Covered by 100 Men Draughted from Poor's 
Brigade — 

The lift Jto be Covered by 100 men to be Draughted from Maxwells Brig- 
ade; — 

Each flank of the second line to be Covered by 50 Men Draughted from 
Clintons Brigade — 

The flanking Divisions on the Right to Consist of the German Battalion 
and a Hundred men Draughted from the Whole line — 

The left flanking Division to Consist of Hartlies and Daytons Regiment, 
with a Draught of 100 Men — 

The Order of Battle and the Order of March are. Represented on the An- 
nax'd Plan — and are to be attended to at all times when the Situation of 
the Country will Possibly admit and when a Deviation takes Place it must 
be Carried no further than the Necessaty of the time Requires Order of 
March the Light Corps will advance by the Right of Company's in files and 
keep half a mile in front — . 

Maxwells Brigade will advance by the Right in files, sections or Platoons 
as the Country will admit — 

Poor's Brigade to advance by .its left in the same manner — 
Clintons Brigade will Advance by Right of Regiment in Platoons, section's 
or files as the Country will admit — all the Covering partys and Flanking 
Divisions on the Right will advance by the Left; and those on the Left by 
the Right — The Artilery and Pack Horses will March in the Center — 
Should the Army be attackted in front while on 'its march — the Light Corps 
will Immediately form to Repulse the Enemy — 

The flanking Divisions will Indevour to Gain the flank and Rear of the 
Enemy — While the line is forming the Pack Horses will in all Cases fall 
into the Position represented on the annexed Plan — Should the Enemy at- 
tack either flank, the flanking Division will form a front and sustain the 
Attack till Reinforced, in which Case a part of the Light Corps is to be 
Attachd to Gain the Enemys flank and Rear, the Covering Party of the two 
lines will Move to Gain the other flank Should the Enemy Attack our Rear 
the 2 lines will face an'd form a line frunt to the Enemy — the Covering Par- 
ties of the !ir>t line will Move to sustain it while the flanking Divisions face 
about and Endevour to Gain their flank and Rear — Should the Light 
troops he Driven hack Jiey will pass through the Intervale of the Main 
Army, and form in the Rear. Should the Enemy in an Ingagement with 
the Army when form'd endanger either flank, tl'e Cohering Party, will Move 
up to Lengthen the line and so Much as may he found Necessary, from the 
flanking Divisions will Display outwards to prevent the attempt of the 
Enemy succeeding — 


The Light Corps will have their Advances and flank Guard a good Distance 
from the Main Body — The flanking Divisions will furnish flank Guards and 
the second line a Rear Guard for the Main Army — 

When we find the Light Corps Ingaged with the Enemy in frunt the frunt 
of the Pack Horses will halt and the Rear Close up — While the Column 
Moves at a small Distance Closes and Displays Column's which will bring 
the Horses in the position Represented in the Plan for Order of Battle, 
should the attack be made on Either flank or Rear the Horse's must be 
kept in the Position they are in at the Comminsment of the attack unless. 
other order's are then Given — ■ 



IN 1679. 



On the seventh day of August, 1679, two centuries ago, a 
small vessel left her anchorage near the foot of Squaw Island, 
and ascended the strong rapids of the Niagara into Lake Erie. 
She was a peculiar craft, of foreign model, full rigged and 
equipped, having many of the appointments of a man-of-war. 
A battery of seven small cannon, with some musquetry, con- 
stituted her armament. A flag, bearing the device of an eagle, 
floated at her mast-head, and on her bow she bore a carved 
griffin, in honor of the arms of Count Frontenac, then Gover- 
nor-General of Canada. By the aid of a strong northeast wind, 
she endeavored to pass up the channel between the bold bluff 
now crowned by the ruins of Fort Porter, and the rocky islet, 
since-known by the name of Bird Island. Being unable to 
overcome the rapid current, a dozen men were landed on the 
sandy beach which bofdered the eastern shore, and with tow 

Note. — This paper was originally communicated to the Buffalo Historical Society, Feb- 
ruary 3d, 1863. Since then, it hxs been revised and enlarged, with a view to it* publica- 
tion anion- the Collections of the Society. 

The present month of August completes two hundred years since the GriJToH sailed from 
the Niagara to the Upper Lakes. This has been, for that reason, considered the appropriate 
mouth for the appearance of thi- paper. — Ki>. 


lines, drew her, by main force, up the stream. A group of 
swarthy Senecas watched her movements, shouting their ad- 
miration at the strange spectacle. 

When the vessel had reached the lake, the men on shore 
embarked — the Te Deum was chanted by the grateful crew — 
their artillery and fire-arms were discharged — and the vessel. 
turning her prow toward the southwest, boldly ploughed, with- 
out chart or guide, the untried waters of the lake.* 

That vessel was the Griffon, and her projector and builder 
the adventurous Cavelier de la Salle. 

This distinguished explorer was born in Rouen, France, on 
the twenty-second day of November, 1643. Educated by the 
Jesuits, he became, for a short time, a member of their Order. 
He came to America in - 1666, and soon after visited and de- 
scended the Ohio; and, as some claim, anticipated Jolliet and 
Marquette in the discovery of the Mississippi. His western 
explorations revealed the value an'd foreshadowed the growth 
of the fur trade, then dependent for transportation on the bark 
canoe, or the sluggish pirogue of the Indian. The discovery 
of an overland route to China, and the development of the 
copper mines of the Interior, were additional stimuli to draw 
him from the luxury and ease of Europe, to share in the hard- 
ships and privations of savage life among the lakes and rivers, 
forests and prairies of the Northwest. Fort Frontenac was 
chosen as the base of his operations; and he agreed to rebuild 
and maintain it at his own expense, provided the French gov- 
ernment would grant him certain exclusive privileges. These 
were accorded in May, 1675.! He immediately took possession 
of the fort, the foundations of which had been laid by Count 
Frontenac two years before, and enlarged and strengthened its 

In 1678, a brigantine of ten tons had been built for the use 

♦Hennepin. I.ouM.m.i. p. 20. Hennepin, Souvelle Decouverte, p. 11. >. Margry, IV- 
couvertes, v.. I. i., p. 44;. 
tJUargry, Uecoiiv., v.l. i., pp. 333, 4 ;-. 


of the French on Lake Ontario.* To facilitate his enterprises 
further west, it became necessary for La Salle to build a larger 
vessel above the Cataract of Niagara. He first dispatched a 
party of fifteen men by canoe to the Upper Lakes, with goods of 
the value of six or seven thousand francs. They had~orders to 
establish friendly relations with the Indians; to collect pro- 
visions for the use of the contemplated expedition, and to 
gather furs for the return voyage. f He also sent carpenters 
and other artisans, under charge of the Sieiir de la Motte, to 
build a fort at Niagara, and the vessel above the Falls. J 

The chief companions he selected to aid him in these under- 
takings, were the Chevalier Henry de Tonty, the Sieur la 
Motte de Lussiere, and Father Louis Hennepin. 

Tonty was a Neapolitan by birth. Having fled from the 
Revolution of Naples, he entered the French Marine in 166S, 
in which he served four years. Having lost his right hand at 
Vintimille by the bursting of a grenade, he supplied the de- 
ficiency by a metallic arrangement covered with a glove. || 
This he used with marked effect in his encounters with the 
Indians, and thus obtained the sobriquet of the "Iron Hand." 
He joined La Salle in his last voyage from France, in July, 
1678,** and faithfully adhered to the fortunes of his chief, until 
the death of the latter in 16S7. He was distinguished for zeal, 
courage and capacity. He commanded the reinforcements 
which were brought from the West to aid De Nonville in his 
expedition against the Senecas, in 1687. He died at Fort St. 
Louis, on Mobile bay, towards the close tof the year 1704. 
His father was the author of the financial scheme, called 
after him "Tontine," which was adopted in France, and sub- 
sequently introduced into America. ff 

La Motte de Lu^'tere was a captain in the celebrated regi- 

* Hennepin, X. 1>., p. 72. M 

+ Hennepin. La., p. 19. Le Clcni, Etab. de hi l'oi, vol. ii., p. 141. 

♦ Deoniv., vol. i., pp. 44 >, 575. 
La Pothene, vol. ii , p. 144. 

** Margry, Decouv., vol. i.,p. 44 1. 
ttMargfy, MeYnoires Inuclits, p. 3. 


ment of Carignan-salieres, and accompanied La Salle on his 
first visit to America.* He proved, in the sequel, unfaithful 
to his commander by adhering to his enemies. f After some 
■experience he found himself unfitted to endure the hardships 
of the New World, and gladly returned to civilized life. \ 

Louis Llennepin was a Flemish Recollect of the Franciscan 
Order, and came to America in 1675 with Bishop Laval. He 
established a Mission at Fort Frontenac, where he remained 
two and a half years. He then returned to Quebec, and after 
undergoing the necessary religious preparation, reascended 
the St. Lawrence to Fort Frontenac, and joined the expedition 
of La Salle. He was proud of his association with his dis- 
tinguished chief, and devoted as much time to his service as 
he could well spare from the duties of his priestly office. He 
was ambitious and unscrupulous, and after the death of La 
Salle, endeavored to appropriate some of the honors which the 
latter had acquired by his celebrated discoveries in the West. 
He published two works, one of which is styled " Description 
de la Louisiane," printed in 1683, and the other "A New Dis- 
covery of a Very Vast Country, Situated in America, Between 
New Mexico and the Frozen Ocean," printed in 1698. The 
first is less in detail, but more reliable than the second. Its 
account of the building and voyage of the Griffon, is, for the 
most part, a bold plagiarism from the official record of that 
enterprise, which had been communicated, either by La Salle 
himself, or through his instrumentality, to the French Minister 
of the Marine, in 1682. Nearly all of Hennepin's account is a 
verbatim copy of that record; with here and there a slight 
variation, occasionally relieved by an original paragraph. 
Twenty-one out of thirty-two pages of his "Louisiane," re- 
lating to th Griffon, are copied almost literally from the official 
document above referred to, now deposited among the Clair- 

* Hennepin, I, a., p. 15. 

+ Margry, Decnuv., vol. ii., p. 230. 

$ Margry, Due* uv., vol. ii., p. 9; Hennepin, X. D., p. 76. 


ambault Collections, in the National Library of Paris.* His 
narrative requires close scrutiny, especially in those particulars 
in which he was neither actor nor eye-witness. He belonged 
to that class of writers, which is said to speak the truth by 
accident and to lie by inclination. La Salle calls him a great 
exaggerator, who wrote more in conformity with his wishes 
than his knowledge. f 

The expedition sent forward from Fort Frontenac, was un- 
der the immediate charge of the Sieur de la Motte; who was 
accompanied by Hennepin and sixteen men. They embarked 
on the eighteenth of November, 1678, in the brigantine before 
mentioned. \ 

The autumnal gales were then sweeping over the lake, and 
the cautious navigators, fearing to be driven on the south shore, 
avoided the usual course, and coasted timidly under shelter of 
the Canadian headlands. Having advanced as far west as the 
site of Toronto, they sought refuge from a storm in the mouth 
of the river Hu ruber. Grounding three times at the en- 
trance, they were forced to throw their ballast overboard and to 
land fourteen of their crew, before the vessel could be made to 
float. The inhabitants of an Iroquois village near by, called 
Tai-ai-a-gon, were greatly surprised at their strange visitors, 
and generously supplied them with provisions in their ex- 
tremity. The vessel narrowly escaped being frozen in for the 
winter, and was only released by being cut out with axes.jj 

On the fifth of December the wind becoming favorable, they 
left for the south side of the lake, riding out a boisterous night 
about twelve miles from the mouth of the Niagara. On the 
sixth of December, St. Nicholas' day, tliey entered what Henne- 
pin calls " the beautiful river Niagara, into which no bark similar 
to ours had ever sail*'*,"** Religion and commerce had joined 

-73, with Margry, Decouv^ vol. i.,pp. 441-451. 

♦Compare Hennepin, La., pp. 41-73, with 
t Nfargry, Decern v., vol. ii., p. 259, 
% Hennepin, La., p. 20. lb. p. 31. 

Le Clerq. fctab. do la Foi, vol. ii., p, 141. 
** Hennepin, N. I)., pp. 74, 75. 


in the enterprise. The noble Ambrosian hymn " Te Deum 
Laudamus" arose from the deck of the gallant bark, chanted 
by the crew in recognition of their escape from the perils of 
a wintry navigation, and of their safe arrival in so desirable and 
commodious a harbor. Near by their anchorage were a few 
cabins, temporarily occupied by the Senecas for shelter during 
their fishing season. Our voyagers were abundantly supplied 
by the natives with white-fish, three hundred of which they 
caught in a single cast of the net. Such unusual luck was 
ascribed to the auspicious arrival of "the great wooden canoe."* 

A party was now organized for exploring the river above the 
Falls, in search of a suitable site for building the projected 
ship. On the seventh of December, Hennepin, with five com- 
panions, ascended two leagues in a bark canoe, as far as the 
Mountain Ridge. Here their progress was arrested by the 
rapids which rush with impetuous force from the gorge 
above; and they landed on the Canadian shore. Prosecuting 
their search on foot, they ascended what are now known as 
Queenston Heights, and followed the river for three leagues, 
until they reached the mouth of the Chippewa creek. This 
stream is described by Hennepin as emptying into the Niagara 
from the west, a league above the great Fall. Being unable to 
find any land suitable for their purpose, they encamped for the 
night, first clearing away a foot of snow, before their fire could 
be kindled. 

On their return the next day, herds of deer and flocks of 
wild turkeys met them on the way, giving promise of abund- 
ant game for the subsistence of the party during their con- 
templated sojourn on the Niagara. f 

On the eleventh of December, they celebrated the first mass 
ever said in the icinity. 

The next three days were passed at Niagara, the wind being 
too unfavorable for the bark to ascend «t he river. 

* Hennepin, La., p. 3 $. 
t Hciiqcimii, X. IK, i>. 76. 


On the fifteenth, Hennepin took the helm, and with the aid 
of three men towing on shore, reached the foot of the rapids, 
and moored the bark to the American shore, below the pre- 
cipitous cliffs of the Mountain Ridge. They employed the 
seventeenth and the two following days in constructing a 
cabin on the site of Lewiston, to serve as a storehouse for 
the use of the expedition. They were obliged to thaw the 
frozen ground with boiling water, before the palisades could 
be driven. 

On the twentieth, and the next three days, the ice came 
* . . . . 

down the rapids with such force, and in such quantities, as to 

threaten the safety of their bark. To guard against the dan- 
ger, the carpenters, under the direction of La Motte, made a 
capstan, with which they endeavored to draw the vessel into a 
ravine; but the strain on the cable broke it three times. They 
finally passed it around the hull, and succeeded, with ropes 
attached, in hauling her to a place of safety.* 

A further advance by vessel or canoe having been checked 
by the rapids, a portage around the Falls must now be made. 
Hennepin's reconnoissance, as before seen, had proved the one 
on the Canadian side to be unsuitable. It now remained to 
explore the other. Before doing so, it became necessary to 
consult La Salle, who had not yet arrived from Fort Fronte- 
nac, and also to conciliate the neighboring Senecas. The 
preparations made by La Salle to build a fort at the mouth 
of the Niagara, and a vessel above the Falls, on the terri- 
tory claimed by the Senecas, had aroused the jealousy of 
that proud people.' Attempts had been made, with some suc- 
cess, to propitiate those residing in the small village on the 
western bank of the river near its mouth. I It was deemed 
expedient, however *o send an embassy to their capital beyond 
the Genesee, before proceeding with the enterprise; and to 
negotiate, with the usual presents, for 'the se quired permission. 

* Hennepin, N. I».. pp. -7. 7 3. Marery, IXvouv., \<>!. ii., t>. S. 

* Hennepin. N. D.. p. 78. 


Hennepin, never idle, was busy in the construction of a bark 
chapel for Divine service, when La Motte invited him to ioin 
in the proposed embassy. As the friar had ingratiated himself 
with the Iroquois, and possessed some knowledge of their 
language, his co-operation was deemed important. At first he 
feigned reluctance to go, but finally consented.* Leaving a 
portion of their party at the foot of the Mountain Ridge, La 
Motte and Hennepin, with four French companions, left on 
Christmas day, 1678. 

Thus, in mid-winter, with blankets, warm clothing and moc- 
casins for protection, they boldly plunged into the depths of 
the cheerless forest. The distance to the Seneca village was 
estimated at thirty-two leagues, or about eighty miles. Five 
hundred pounds of merchandise for Indian presents, and some 
sacks of parched corn, were distributed among the party. 
Their provisions were increased on the way by an occasional 
deer, and a few black squirrels procured by the Indians. For 
five weary days they followed the Indian trail through the 
frost-bound wilderness; sleeping at night in the open air, with- 
out shelter, except what chance afforded: 

On the last day of December, they reached Tagarondies, 
the great village of the Senecas, situated on what has since 
been known as Boughton Hill, near Victor, in Ontario county.! 

They were received by the Senecas with marked considera- 
tion, and conducted to the cabin of their principal chief, where 
they became objects of curiosity to the women and children. 
The young men bathed their travel-worn feet, and anointed 
them with bear's oil. The next day, being the first of the year, 
Hennepin celebrated mass, and preached the mysteries oi his 
faith to the mixed assembly of French and Indians. 

Fathers t-'ilien Gamier and Peter Raffeix, two Jesuit mis- 
sionaries, were found residing in the village at the time of 
their visit. The former was the fir*t Jesuit ordained in Can- 

* Hennepin, X. I>.. p. 79, Margry, Pecouv., vol. i., p. 44;. 
+ X. V. His, Collections, second >erii>, vol. it., p, r •-.. 


ada, and the last missionary of that Order among the Senecas.* 
He commenced his labors among the Oneidas in 1668, at the 
age of twenty-five, and in the same year visited the Ononda- 
gas and Cayugas. In 1669 he had charge of the Seneca mis- 
sion of St. Michael, and the following year that of St. James. 
In 167 1 he conducted the three missions among that people, f 
He died at Quebec in February, 1730, having devoted upwards 
of sixty years to his missionary work. He was acquainted 
with the Algonquin language, but better versed in Huron and 
Iroquois. J His companion, Raffeix, joined him in the Seneca 
country in 1672. He was chaplain in the expedition of Cour- 
celles against the Mohawks, in 1666. || He was soon after 
chosen for missionary work among the Cayugas, and labored 
among them and the Senecas until 1680. The writer can find 
no later notice of him than 1703, at which time he was living 
at Quebec.** 

After Hennepin had concluded his religious services, the 
grand council was convened. It was composed of forty-two 
of the elders among the Senecas. Their tall forms were com- 
pletely enveloped in robes made from the skins of the beaver, 
wolf and black squirrel. With calumet in mouth, these grave 
councillors took their seats on their mats, with all the stateli- 
ness and dignity of Venetian senators. 

At the opening of the council, La Motte, suspecting Father 
Gamier of hostility to La Salle, objected to his presence. At 
the request of the Senecas he withdrew. Hennepin, consider- 
ing this as an affront to his cloth, retired with him. La Salle 
was ever suspicious of the Jesuits; believing them to be op- 
posed to his enterprises, and inclined to influence the Indians 
against him. 

The council was informed, through Brassart, the interpreter, 

* She:\"s Cath' '.:<: Missions, 204, n. * 

t Jesuit i ns. Quebec, ea. x668, p. 17; 166a, p. 12; 1670, pp. 69 78; 1171, p. 20; 16661 p. 9. 

X fesuit Re... <.*.;. 1606, p. 6. Parkman's Jesuits, p. 54. 

[b..ed. i"-. p. _>. 
** Shea's Cash ... Mbiions, 294, n. 


that the French had come to visit them on the part of Onnon- 
tio, their governor, and to smoke the calumet on their mats; 
that the Sieur de la Salle was about to build a great wooden 
canoe above the Falls, in which to bring merchandise from 
Europe by a more convenient route than the rapids of the 
Saint Lawrence; that by this means the French would be 
able to undersell the English of Boston, and the Dutch of New 

This speech was accompanied with four hundred pounds 
weight of presents, consisting of hatchets, knives, coats, and a 
large necklace of blue and white shells. Portions of these 
were handed over at the end of each proposition. This mode 
•of treating with the Indians by bribing their chiefs, has, unfor- 
tunately, continued to the present day. 

Among other inducements, La Motte promised to furnish, 
for the convenience of their whole nation, a gunsmith and 
blacksmith, to reside at the mouth of the Niagara, for the pur- 
pose of mending their guns and hatchets. Several coats and 
pieces of fine cloth, iron, and European merchandise of great 
rarity among the Indians, and of the value of four hundred 
francs, were added, as weighty reasons, to influence them in 
favor of the French. "The best arguments in the world," 
says Hennepin, "are not listened to by the natives, unless ac- 
companied with presents. "f 

On the next day, the Senecas answered the speech of La 
Motte, sentence by sentence, and responded by presents. As 
aids to the memory, they used small wooden sticks which the 
speaker took up, one by one, as he replied, teratim, to the 
several points in the speech of the day previous. Belts of wam- 
pum, made of small shells strung on fine sinews, were presented 
after each speech, followed by the exclamation " .Yi-a-oi/ii," 
signifying approval, from the whole assembly. This, however, 

* Alluding to the plan cf I. a Salle to send merchandise to the Niagara by the v>a> of the 
Mississippi ami the lakes. 
t Meiiiu pin, N. I >.. p. 85. 


proved an insincere response in the present instance; for La 
Motte, with his specious reasoning, made no impression on 
these shrewd children of the forest. They knew that the Eng- 
lish and Dutch had greater facilities than the French for sup- 
plying them with merchandise, and could outbid the latter in 
trading for their furs. They received the offered presents 
with apparent acquiescence, and after the customary salutations, 
the council broke up. Before it ended, two prisoners of war, 
%vho had been taken near the borders of Virginia, were brought 
in; one of whom, out of compliment to their guests, was put to 
death with tortures, such as Indians only in their savage state 
can invent and inflict. The French, unable to bear the sight, 
and willing to testify their abhorrence of the cruelty, withdrew 
from the scene. So the embassy left for their quarters on the 
Banks of the Niagara; which they reached on the fourteenth of 
January, 1679, thoroughly exhausted with their toilsome expedi- 
tion. They were in some measure solaced on their arrival, 
with the abundance of white-fish, just then in season. The 
water in which they were boiled, thickened into jelly, reminded 
them of the savory soups to which they had been accustomed 
in their father-land.* 

The side of the Niagara on which the vessel for use on the 
Upper Lakes could be most conveniently built, was as yet unde- 
termined. The Canadian side had been examined, as already 
noticed, and found unsatisfactory.! Historians have widely 
differed, not only as to the one finally selected, but also as to 
the precise point where the keel of the historic bark was laid. 
The solution of these questions involves interesting topograph- 
ical investigations. 

Governor Cass, in his address before the Historical Society 
of Michigan, maintains that "the Griffon was launched at 
Erie. "| Schoolciaft says, "near Buffalo.") Bancroft, in the 
- -- • 

* Hennepin, N. I>. pp., 78-91. 
+ Hennepin*, N. !>., }.. 75. 
% Historical I Hscnurse at Detroit, p. 14. 
Tour to the Lakes, p. 33. 


first edition of his History of the United States, says, "at the 
mouth of the Tonewanda creek. "* Dr. Sparks, in his "Life of 
La Salle," says, "at Chippewa creek, on the Canadian side of 
the river;"f and his opinion was followed by Parkman in his 
Life of Pontiac,| and more recently by Doctor Abbott, in his 
"Adventures of La Salle." || What is still more remarkable 
and inexcusable, the new History of the United States, bearing 
the endorsement of the late William Cullen Bryant, states that 
the Griffon was built at Fort Frontenac, which it locates on 
Lake Erie! Such is history. 

In an article published August 22d, 1845, in the Buffalo Com- 
mercial Advertiser, the writer claimed that the vessel was built 
at the mouth of the Cayuga creek. 

Since that publication,- Mr. Bancroft, in later editions of his 
History,** and Mr. Parkman, in his more recent works, f f ha\'e 
accepted Cayuga creek as the true site of the dock. 

As some doubts, however, still exist, and erroneous locations 
continue to be repeated, the subject has been re-examined 
in the light of the evidence afforded by the valuable documents 
lately published by Mr. Margry, under the auspices of the 
American Congress, and with the aid of other historical material 
recently discovered. 

The portage around the Falls, and the site of the dock, must, 
necessarily, have been on the same side of the river. The 
American portage would naturally be chosen as the shortest 
and most feasible route ; its length being two and a half miles 
less than the Canadian, owing to the configuration of the river. 

That the French actually used the American side during 
and subsequent to the building of the Griffon, clearly appears 
from the testimony of Hennepin and La Hontan. 

In his notice of the point where the, river issues from the 

* History of the United States, vol. iii., p. 1*2. 

+ Life of La .Salle, p. 21. • 

* Park man's Life of Pontiac, first ed., p. 52. 
Abbott's Adventures of La Salle, p. 98. 

**Vr>l. iii., p. 162. sixteenth ed. 

t 4 Discovery of the Great West, p. 133. Life of Pontiac. sixth id., vol. i.. p. 58. 


mountain gorge between Lewiston and Queenston, Hennepin 
mentions a "great rock" which rose to a considerable height 
above the water, "three fathoms from the Canadian shore." 
Also, "three mountains" on the American side, "opposite the 
great rock."* In describing his return from his western dis- 
coveries, after the loss of the Griffon, Hennepin says, "we 
carried our canoe from the great Fall of Niagara to the foot 
of the three mountains, which are two leagues below, and 
opposite the great rock."f This locates the portage used by 
Hennepin, on the American side. 

The Baron la Hontan, who visited the Falls in 1688, only 
nine years after the Griffon was built, says, in his "Voyages to 
North America," published in 1703, "I went up the Niagara 
three leagues from its mouth, to the end of navigation. We 
were obliged to carry our canoe from a league and a half below 
the Falls, to a half a league above them. We ascended the three 
mountains before finding the. way smooth and level. "J On the 
map which accompanies his travels, La Hontan places the 
" three mountains " unmistakably on the American side of the 
river, just south of the site of Lewiston. 

From the preceding quotations, it is evident that the "great 
rock," is referred to as on the west or Canadian side, and the 
''three mountains" on the opposite or American side of the 

This "great rock" was long a conspicuous object near the 
shore ; and can still be seen under the western end of the old 
Suspension bridge, the ruins of which now span the river at 
that point. Within the memory of the early settlers, boats 
could readily pass between the rock and the adjacent bank. 
The debris from the precipice above, thrown down in the con- 
struction of the bri Ve, has nearly filled the intervening space. 
Hennepin describes the ruck as very high ;|| but time, and the 

* Hennepin, X. D., pp. 45, 77, 113, 452. 
+ Hennepin, X. ])., p. 456. 
t La Hontan's Voyajjjes, Eng. cd., vol. i., p. Si. 
Hennepin, X. !>., p. 452. 


action of the ever-flowing current, have reduced its dimensions, 
and settled it in its river bed. It still lifts its dark head 
above the surrounding waters, an abiding witness of the accu- 
racy of this part of the Franciscan's narrative, and perpetuates 
his memory under the name of "Hennepin's Rock." 

The "three mountains" on the American side can easily be 
recognized in the lofty ridge, composed of three terraces, 
caused by the geological formation of the bank, which rises 
four hundred feet above the surface of the river. The 
ravine into which the brigantine was drawn by La Motte, to 
protect it from the ice, as before stated, is plainly to be seen 
near the foot of the Mountain Ridge, on the American side of 
the river, a short distance above Lewiston. This ravine, in the 
absence of any on the. Canadian side, proves the site of the 
palisaded storehouse, and the commencement of the portage, 
to have been on the eastern side. 

The proofs establishing the particular site where the vessel 
was built, will now be considered. Hennepin describes the 
portage as passing over beautiful meadows, and through groves 
of scattered oaks and pine. "We went," says he, "two 
leagues above the great Fall of Niagara, and there built some 
stocks for the construction of the vessel needed for our voyage. 
We could not have chosen a more convenient place. It was 
near a river which empties into the strait between Lake Erie 
and the. great Fall."* 

Two leagues above the Falls would be about five miles. At 
that distance we find the Cayuga creek, a stream which answers 
perfectly to Hennepin's description. Opposite its mouth, an 
island of the same name lies parallel with the shore, about a 
mile long, and two or three hundred yards wide. It is sepa- 
rated from the main-land by a narrow branch of the river. 
called b the early inhabitants, "Little Niagara;" wide and 
deep enough to float a vessel of tl^e tonnage of the Griffon. 

* Hennepin, N. P., p. 04. 


Into this channel and opposite the middle of the island, the 
Cayuga creek empties. On the main shore, just above the 
mouth of the creek, and under shelter of the island, is a 
favorable site for a ship-yard. So eligible is the position, 
that it was selected by the United States government, in the 
early part of the present century, as a suitable point for 
building one or more vessels for the transportation of troops 
and supplies to the western posts. For that reason it was 
known in early times, as the "old ship-yard;" and local 
traditions have been preserved in the memory of the early 
pioneers, of its anterior occupancy, for the same purpose, by 
the French.* 

Investigation among the archives of the Ministere de la Ma- 
rine in Paris, have brought to light the existence of three manu- 
script maps, nearly cotemporaneous with the construction of 
the Griffon. The first two were made by Jean Baptiste Louis 
Franquelin, Hydrographer to Louis XIV., and the predecessor 
of Louis Jolliet in that office. 

The earliest of the three is a map of North America, pur- 
porting to have been "drawn in 1688, by order of the Governor 
and Intendant of New France, from sixteen years observations 
of the author." It is five feet long, and three feet wide. Lakes 
Ontario and Erie, with the adjacent country, are, for that early 
day, remarkably well delineated. The Niagara river and 
Falls are distinctly represented, with a portage road around 
the latter, on the American side. A fac-simile of that portion 
of the map which embraces the Niagara river, reproduced 
from a careful tracing over the original, is given on the fol- 
lowing page. 

Its most interesting feature is the design of a cabin, on the 
eastern side of the river, midway between the two lakes, with this 
inscription : ' Cabaue 11 k S r de la Salle a fait /aire line barque." 
(Cabin where the Sieur de la Salle cause'd a bark to be built.) 

Marshall's Ni. 

miter, y. 30. 



The next map drawn by the same author in 16S9, is sub- 
stantially like that of 16S8. The Niagara river is laid down 
as on the former chart, with a cabin indicating the site where 
the Griffon was built; but the inscription differs slightly, it 
being, kk Cha tier on le S r dc la Salic a f ! f c une baraue." 
(Stocks where the Sieur de la Salle cruised a bark to be built.) 

The third map, drawn after Franquelin in 1699, has, unfor- 
tunately, been so clQsely trimmed for binding in atlas form, as 


partly to cut off the Niagara river; but the inscription, indi- 
cating, as on the other maps, that the vessel was constructed 
on the eastern side of the river, was left untouched, and is as 
follows: <k Chantier de S r de la Salic pour sa barq." (Stocks 
for the bark of the Sieur de la Salle.) 

This dock was referred to by the Marquis Denonville in a 
proces-verbal, or act of taking possession of the territory of the 
Senecas in 1687; only eight years after the Griffon was built. 
He says: " La Salle built a bark two leagues above the great 
Fall of Niagara, which navigated Lakes Erie, Huron and Illi- 
nois (Michigan), the stocks of whicJi are still to be seen"* It 
will be noticed that Hennepin and Denonville agree in the 
distance of the dock above the Falls. 

The proofs now exhibited remove all doubts as to the site 
where the Griffon was built. The mouth of the Cayuga creek 
is, unquestionably, the true locality. In commemoration of the 
event, the name, "La Salle," has appropriately been conferred 
on the neighboring village. 

La Salle, who had remained at Fort Frontenac, for the pur- 
pose of procuring supplies and materials for the proposed 
vessel, embarked with his lieutenant, Tonty, on a brigantine of 
twenty tons, and sailed for Niagara, by the south shore of the 
lake.f When near the mouth of the Genesee river, he landed 
by canoe, and went to Tagarondies, which he had visited with 
the Sulpitians, Uollier and Gallinee, ten years before.]; At a 
council, supplementary to the one just held by La Motte and 
Hennepin, he succeeded, by his personal address, in gaining 
what they had failed to obtain — the full assent of the Senecas 
to the execution of his enterprises. || 

Re-embarking in his vessel, he sailed westward toward 
Niagara. When about twenty-five miles east of that river — the 
wind having failed — h , left the vessel, and, accompanied by 

* N. Y. Col. Doc, vol. ix., p. 335. 
+ Margry, Decouv., vol. i., p. ^75. 
% Margry, Decouv., vol. i., p. 137* 
; Hennepin, X. D., p. in. 


Tonty, pursued his way to Niagara by land. He left instruc- 
tions with the pilot, that if the wind should blow from the 
northwest, he should steer for Niagara; and if from the south- 
west, he should seek shelter in the river of the Senecas.* 

On the eighth of January, 1679, the pilot and crew, while 
waiting for a favorable breeze, left the vessel at anchor, to sleep 
on shore. The wind rose so suddenly, that they were unable 
to embark. The vessel dragged her anchor, struck on a rock, 
and became a total wreck.! This must have been at or near 
what is now known as Thirty-mile Point, being that distance east 
of Fort Niagara. By this misfortune, a large amount of materia!, 
designed for the construction of the Griffon, including several 
bark canoes, was lost. Nothing was saved but the anchors and 
cables. To replace the loss, much valuable time would now be 
required, in transporting provisions and supplies for the use 
of the men employed in the work. 4. 

La Salle and Tonty reached the mouth of the Niagara on the 
evening after they had left the vessel. The Indians residing 
on the western side of the river, answering their summons, 
ferried them over to the village in their wooden canoes, and 
hospitably received them into their cabins. || Nothing could be 
had for their refreshment, but the usual Indian diet of white- 
fish and corn soup. This seemed, to Tonty's palate, barbatoiis 
and unsavory. Nevertheless, hunger compelled him to partake 
of it, without the relish of bread, wine, pepper or salt. Such 
was the rough life of the French explorer: subsisting on game. 
fish, and Indian corn, and inadequate!}' protected from the 
weather by rudely constructed cabins of bark. 

At midnight, the restless La Salle set out by moonlight with 
Tonty, expecting to join La Motte in his cabin at the foot of 
the .Mountain Ridge. Thev found he was still absent with 

* (ienesee river, 

•' Marj;n 1 »■■ >uv., v A. i., pp. 442, 576. 
X M.uv.n . 1 ' -■' mi v., v I. ii., p. j.' >. Hi nnepin, La., 1^4.1. 
Mar.;ry. 1> . uv\, vol. ... p. 576. 


Hennepin, on their embassy to the Senecas. Leaving Tonty 
to await his return. La Salle proceeded the next day further 
up the river, in search of a site above the Falls, convenient for 
building the projected vessel. Having found one, he trans- 
ferred to the location some of his men, for the purpose of 
constructing a dock, and beginning the work. Returning to 
Niagara, he waited impatiently for the arrival of La Motte and 
Hennepin. Xews readied him while there of the loss of his 
vessel on Lake Ontario; and he repaired at once to .the wreck, 
in order to rescue what might be useful in the construction of 
the new bark. 

On the twenty-second of January, La Salle, Hennepin and 
Tonty repaired to the site which the former had chosen for 
the dock.* On his way there, La Salle turned aside to view 
the great Cataract; the first engraved view and detailed de- 
scription of which are given by his companion, Hennepin, in 
his " Xew Discovery." La Salle had passed within fifteen miles 
of it ten years before, as he was coasting by canoe along the 
southerly shore of Lake Ontario, but this was his first visit. f 

Tonty was now given the command of the working party. 
A place was cleared for the stocks. The woods resounded 
with the strokes of the axe, that pioneer of western civilization. 
Oaks were felled, and converted into plank; and their branches 
fashioned into ribs and knees, to conform the ship to a §h: | ely 

On [lie twenty-sixth, the keel was laid; and everything being 
ready, La Salle sent the carpenter to invite Hennepin to strike 
the first blow far the commerce of the lakes. The modesty of 
the g3od father for once overcame his ambition, and he de- 
clined tiie proffered honor. La Salle then promised ten 
Louis d'or, to encourage the carpenter to hasten the work.; 

It now became ecosarv for La Salle to return to Fort 

*^rv. Doconv., vol. i., pp. -7 >. 577. Hennepin, X. IK. p. 

+ M .r_rv. Oo'Miv.. v, I. i., ,.." ijy. 
% Hennepin, X. !>., \>. 95. 


Frontenac, to obtain supplies for his proposed ship, and to 
appease the clamors of his importunate creditors. It was about 
the first of February, and the snow still lay deep in the leaf- 
less woods. His bark had been wrecked, and the lake was too 
treacherous for a wintry voyage by canoe or brigantine. Noth- 
ing, however, could repress his untiring energy. Setting out on 
snow-shoes, with only two men for his companions, and a dog 
to draw his baggage, he traversed the frozen route of over eighty 
leagues, to Fort Frontenac. He took no provisions but a bag 
of parched corn, and even that failed him before he reached 
his destination.* Hennepin and Tonty accompanied him as 
far as Niagara. 'While there, La Salle traced a fort, which, 
after the prince of that name, he called' Fort Conty. In 
order to deceive the Sen'ecas, he pretended it was for a build- 
ing he had promised them for the blacksmith. 

La Motte lost no time in commencing a house on the site, 
and fortifying it with palisades, for the protection of the party 
and the storage of their supplies. \ Thus were laid the foun- 
dations of that renowned fortress, over which, after passing 
successively under French and English control, now floats the 
standard of the American Republic. 

After La Salle's departure, Tonty and Hennepin returned to 
their duties at the ship-yard. J Two bark cabins, including a 
chapel for the special use of Hennepin, were built with the aid 
of the Indians. Divine worship was regularly observed; and 
on Sundays and fete days, the sombre woods were vocal with 
the Gregorian chants, sung by the devout Franciscans. 

Fortunately they were not interrupted by the Senecas; 
most of their warriors being absent on an expedition be- 
yond Lake Erie. The few that remained were less insolent 
through their weakness. However, they often visited the 
camp, ana ,-xhibited dissatisfaction at the progress of the work. 

* Margry, Decduv., vol. i., pp. 442, 577. Hennepin, N*. 1>. p. 97. 

+ Hennepin, La., p. jo. 

X Mar^ry, Decouv., vol. I., 577. 


One of them, feigning intoxication, attempted to kill La Forge, 
the blacksmith, who vigorously repulsed him with a hissing 
bar of red-hot iron. This, added to a reprimand from Henne- 
pin, caused him to desist. The timely warning of a squaw, 
holding friendly relations with one of the workmen, prevented 
the destruction of the vessel; the Senecas having planned to 
burn it on the stocks. Only the strictest vigilance saved it 
from the torch.* So great was Tonty's fear that an attack 
would be made upon the camp, that he sent La Motte on a 
second visit to the Seneca village, to avert the design. He 
was not only successful in his mission, but secured, at the'same 
time, much needed supplies of corn for Fort Frontenac, and 
for the party at work on the Griff on. \ 

While La Motte was absent on his mission, Tonty repaired 
to Niagara, and launched the brigantine, in order to save what 
he could from the unfortunate wreck. But a storm arose, and 
the wind and ice forced him to come to anchor. The cable 
parted, and, after encountering great peril and fatigue, he suc- 
ceeded in reaching the mouth of the Niagara, without accom- 
plishing his object. After the storm had subsided, he em- 
barked, by canoe, to regain his lost anchor; and met La Motte 
on his return from the Senecas. Leaving the latter to fish up 
the anchor, ToiUy returned to the dock..]'. 

The frequent alarms which they experienced, the fear that 
provisions would fail them by reason of the loss of the bark, 
and the refusal of the Senecas to sell them supplies, greatly 
discouraged the carpenters. || They were otherwise demoralized 
by the attempted desertion of one of their number to the Dutch 
in New York. Hennepin assumes the credit of allaying these 
fears, and of stimulating the men to greater diligence, by his 
timely exhortations on Sundays and festivals, and assurances 

that their work woi d redound to the eiorv of God. and the 



*^rv, vol. i., i>. 44:. Hennepin, X. !">.. p. >/-. 
t Marj-ry, vol. i., p. 57S. lb., vol. ii., p. S. 
JM.iryry, 1 >• > uv., \ I. 1., p. 577. 
Marejry, [>o uv., \ol. i., y. 444. 


welfare of the Christian colonies.* He made frequent trips to 
Niagara, carrying his portable chapel strapped-to his shoulders: 
equally ready to discharge the functions of his holy calling, or 
to aid in the temporal work which La Salle had undertaken. 
The Senecas called him Hoehitagou, signifying bare-feet y in 
allusion to the custom of his Order in wearing sandals. f 

Two Indians, employed as hunters, supplied the party with ven- 
ison and other game. J The work went on, and the winter wore 
away, without remarkable incident. Spring succeeded, and in 
the montli of May the vessel was nearly ready for launching. 
Its formidable hull, looming up on the stocks, continued to ex- 
cite the jealousy of the Senecas, and they again threatened to 
burn it. Fearing this, it was deemed advisable to launch it at 
once. || This was done with due formalities. A blessing was 
invoked according to the usage of the Roman Church — a 
salute was fired— the Te JDeum was chanted, and the vessel 
safely floated in the Cayuga channel of the Niagara. She was 
named "Le Griffon," in compliment to Count Frontenac, on 
whose escutcheon two winged griffins were emblazoned as 
supporters. The Frenchmen cheered as the vessel entered the 
stream, and swung securely at her anchor. A party of stoical 
'Iroquois, who were returning from the chase, could, not repress 
their astonishment at the unusual spectacle. The skill of the 
Frenchmen, able to build such a moving fort, in so short a 
time, excited their admiration, and they called them Ot-kon, 
signifying, according to Hennepin, penetrating mimis.** The 
Senecas willingly joined in celebrating the launch, freely par- 
taking the brandy which was liberally distributed on the joyful 

The overworked Frenchmen, released from their toil, and 

* Hennepin. X. D., p. 98. * 

+ Hennepin, X. I)., p. 27. * 

* Hennepin, X. I)., pp. 05, yS. 
Margry, Hecouv., vol. i., p. 444. 

•* Mrmiry, Deeouv., vol. i., p. 44^ isa Mohawk word, taken by Hennepin fr in 
r.ruv.i>' I Hetinnary of that language. The eorrespondinj; word in Seneca is < V-, 
siguities supernatural beings ur spirits, liruyas' Mohawk Dictionary, p. 120, 


relieved from their painful vigils, gladly exchanged their cheer- 
less quarters on land, for the deck of the Griffon, where they 
swung their hammocks; secure, for the first time, from the 
jealous owners of the soil.* 

While these events were transpiring under the supervision of 
Tonty, La Salle, whose duties detained him at Fort Frontenac, 
was harrassed by his creditors, clamorous for the payment of 
their dues. All his effects at Montreal and Quebec were at-' 
tached, even to the bed of his secretary ; notwithstanding his 
interest in Fort Frontenac, alone, was ample security for all his 
debts, without relying upon returns from his western venture. 
These hostile proceedings originated, in part, from jealousy of 
the man. They did not, however, modify his purpose, but 
stimulated him to prosecute his -enterprise, regardless of the 
machinations of his enemies. f 

The Griffon being safely moored in the river, and the time 
approaching for the commencement of her western voyage, 
Hennepin, in order to ascertain the feasibility of taking her up 
the Niagara into Lake Erie, was dispatched on a reconnoissance. 
Accompanied by a single Indian in a bark canoe, he twice 
poled up the rapids, as far as the lake; sounding their depth, 
and estimating their force. He reported that no difnculty 
existed in the undertaking, if the Griffon should be favored 
with a fresh north or northwest breeze. \ 

Soon after the vessel was completed, she sailed up the eastern 
side of Grand Island, overcoming the current with her sails 
alone. She dropped anchor below Squaw Island, in ten feet 
water, two and a half miles from the lake, where she could ride 
secure in any weather. || 

Hennepin now repaired to Fort Frontenac for the purpose 
of obtaining, from his brethren there, some companions to aid 
him in his proposal mission to the great West. Leaving the 

* Hennepin, N. 1)., p. 100. Mar^ry, Deconv., vol. i., p. 444. 

+ Margry, Decoitv., vol. i., p. 444. Hennepin, X. D., pp. 101, 102. 

* Hennepin, N. 1)., p. 102. 
Hennepin, N. 1).. p. 103. 


Griffon at her anchorage, he descended the river by canoe, 
with two assistants, as far as the landing just above the Falls. 
From thence they carried their canoe over the portage; and 
launching it again at the foot of the Mountain Ridge, proceeded 
to Lake Ontario. Here they found the brigantine which the 
Sieur de la Forest had brought from Fort Frontenac. After 
spending a few days at the mouth of the river in trading with 
the Indians, they sailed for the Fort. The sea-sickness of a 
party of squaws, who embarked with them to save a journey of 
forty leagues, by land, to their village, rendered the voyage quite 
disagreeable, particularly to Father Hennepin, who emphati- 
cally expresses himself quite disgusted with his fellow voyagers.* 

After touching at the mouth of the Oswego river, where 
they traded with the Iroquois, exchanging brandy for furs (a 
proceeding strongly condemned by Hennepin), they crossed the 
lake and landed on Gull Island, called by Hennepin " Goi/ans," 
one of the group which lies off Point Traverse in the eastern 
end of Lake Ontario. This island was so named from the 
gulls that frequented it in great abundance. They deposited 
their eggs in the sand, and left them to be hatched by the sun. 
Hennepin states that he ".gathered and carried away a large 
quantity, which relished well in omelette."! 

On arriving at Fort Frontenac, Hennepin was welcomed by 
his Franciscan brethren. Two of the Order, Gabriel de la 
Ribourde and Zenobe Membre, where chosen to accompany 
him in the memorable voyage of the Griffon.\ 

On the twenty-seventh of May, while the party were at Fort 
Frontenac, La Salle, in recognition of the services of the 
^Franciscans, conveyed to the Order eighteen acres of land 
bordering on the lake near the Fort, and about one hundred 
in the adjacent forest. He also decreed, by virtue of his 

* Hennepin, X. Ek, pp. io.\, 105 
t Hennepin, \. 1 >., ;>. 10 i, 

* Hennepin, N. D., p. 107. 


authority as governor and proprietor of the Fort, that no other 
Order should be established in its vicinity. 

After visiting the neighboring Indians, the Franciscans em- 
barked in the brigantine, for Niagara.* They landed first at 
the mouth of the Genesee river, where they traded with the 
Senecas; purchasing furs and supplies, with guns, knives, pow- 
der, lead and brandy; the latter being the most in demand. 
Hennepin secluded himself from these distractions, by retiring 
some distance in the woods; where he built, a bark chapel for 
religious observances. While they were thus delayed, La Salle 
arrived at the end of eight days, on his way to the Seneca vil- 
lage. On reaching the latter, he made some presents to attach 
the Indians to his interest, and to counteract the prejudices 
which his enemies had secretly excited against him. These 
negotiations detained them so long, as to prevent their reaching 
Niagara before the thirtieth of June. 

On the fourth of July,f Hennepin and Sergeant la Fleur set 
out on foot to rejoin the Griffon. They visited the great Catar- 
act on their way, and. stopped at the stocks where the vessel 
had been built, and which Hennepin locates at six leagues from 
Lake Ontario. While resting there, two young Indians seriously 
incommoded the fathers, by slyly appropriating all their pro- 
visions. Here they found an old bark canoe, much dilap- 
idated, which they repaired as well as their conveniences 
allowed. In this, with extemporized paddles, they risked the 
voyage up the Niagara, and were cordially welcomed on board 
the Griffon, still swinging at her anchors, in the current below 
the rapids. J A party of Iroquois, returning witli prisoners 
from* a western foray, visited the ship on their way, and were 
struck with amazement that the material for her equipment, 
including such large anchors, could have been brought up the 
rapids of the St. ' awrence. " Gannoron T they exclaimed, in 

* Hennepin, N. D., pp. 10S, i o >, tio. 

+ Hennepin'v X. I)., p. in. There is some confusion of dates in Hennepin's narrative, 

\ Hennepin, X. I >., p. 1 13. 


their astonishment; an expression in their language for, ''Won- 
derful."* Leaving instructions with the pilot, not to attempt the 
ascent of the river, Hennepin returned to Niagara on the six- 
teenth, and brought up the brigantine in which they had come 
from Fort Frontenac, as far as the Great Rock; and anchored 
her at the foot of the Three Mountains. f 

The munitions of war, provisions and rigging with which the 
brigantine was loaded, were now carried over the portage by 
the crew, aided by the Franciscans, involving many a weary and 
painful journey of two long leagues. Father Gabriel, sixty-four 
years old, went up and down the Three Mountains, three several 
times, with remarkable activity and endurance. It required four 
persons to carry the largest anchor; but a liberal distribution 
of brandy encouraged the men, and lightened their labor. { 

The transportation of their effects being thus accomplished, 
all repaired to the outlet of Lake Erie, and waited for the sail- 
ing of the Griffon. ' Hennepin took advantage of the delay, to 
make another visit to the Falls, in company with La Salle and 
Father Gabriel. f He was so charmed with the fine scenery, 
the abundant fishery, and the beauty of the river, that he pro- 
posed to La Salle to found a settlement on its borders. *By this 
means, he claimed, the Indian trade could be monopolized, and 
at the same time the interests of religion be promoted.** 

But La Salle was in debt; depending for the liquidation of 
his liabilities on the furs he expected to realize from the far 
West. This consideration, coupled with an intense desire to 
explore the interior of the continent, prevented his listening to 
the entreaties of Hennepin. 
* Everything being ready for the voyage, several fruitless at- 

* This is not a Seneca, but r\ Mohawk weird. It was evidently borrowed by Hennepin 
from Father Rruvas' manuscript Dictionary of the Mohawk Language, which the former 
consulted in Am ca. The corresponding word in the Seneca dialect, i> lia-u - . n 
signifies literally, tiijficult or extraordinary • LJruyas' Radical Words of the Mohawk 
Language, p. S;. • 

+ Hennepin. X, !>., p. 113. 

% Hennepin, X. 1>.. p. 114. 
Hennepin, X. 1 )., p. 1 16, 

** Hennepin, X. 1 »., p. 1 05. 


tempts were made by the Griffon to ascend the rapids into 
Lake Erie. The winds were either adverse, or too light. While 
thus waiting, a part of the crew cleared some land on the Cana- 
dian shore, and sowed several varieties of garden seeds. "This," 
says Hennepin, "was done for the benefit of those who should 
be engaged in maintaining, over the portage, the communication 
between the vessels navigating the two lakes."* They dis- 
covered some wild chervil, and quantities of Spanish garlic, 
(r&scambole) growing there spontaneously.! 

The crew had been reduced, by leaving.Father Melithon and 
others at the stocks above the Falls. A portion of the remain- 
der encamped on shore, to lighten the vessel in its attempts to 
stem the rapid current. Divine service was daily observed on 
board, and the preaching on Sundays and festivals could easily 
be heard by the men on shore. % 

On the twenty-second of July, Tonty was sent forward with 
five men, to join a company of fourteen, who had, some time 
before, been ordered by La Salle to rendezvous at the mouth 
of the Detroit river. || 

At length the wished-for wind from the northeast arose; and 
the party, to the number of thirty-two souls, including the two 
Recollects who had recently joined them from Fort Fronte- 
nac, embarked; and, contrary to the predictions of the pilot, 
succeeded in ascending the rapids into the lake,** as heretofore 

It was a moment of rejoicing and profound gratitude, re- 
ligiously acknowledged by the happy voyagers, as the vessel 
floated on the bosom of what Hennepin styles, "the beautiful 
Lake Erie." 

She now spread her sails to the auspicious breeze, and 
commenced her adventurous voyage. The vast inland seas 

* Hennepin, N, P.. p. 11S. 

+ Jiul^c Clinton says, that the chervil was probably the sftcet cicely, and the roscamboU 
either the leek or -arlic. 

* Hennepin, X. ]')., p. no. 
Martjry, Decouv., vol. i.,p. 57S. 

** Maury, vol. i., p. 445. 


over which she was about to navigate, had never been explored, 
save by the canoe of the Indian, timidly coasting along their 
shores. Without chart to warn of hidden dangers, she boldly 
ploughed her way, — the humble pioneer of the vast fleets of our 
modern lake commerce. 

A moonless night succeeded. They had been told that 
Lake Erie was full of shoals, fatal to navigation; so they cau- 
tiously felt their way, sounding as they went.* 

A thick fog now settled on the lake. Suddenly, the sound 
of breakers was borne to the ears of the watchful crew, on the 
dark and murky night. All but La Salle were sure it was the 
noise of the waves, occasioned by a change of wind. But La 
Salle had seen the rude chart of Gallinee, made ten years be- 
fore, containing a rough outline of the northern shore; showing 
Long Point, advancing southeastward across the pathway of 
the Griffon. Suspecting they were approaching this danger, he 
ordered the pilot to change the course to east-northeast. They 
proceeded in that direction, under a light breeze, for two or 
three hours; hearing the same noise, and sounding constantly, 
without rinding bottom. An hour later, the depth suddenly 
diminished to three fathoms. All hands were aroused, and the 
course changed. At length the fog lifted, and Long Point lay 
directly before them. La Salle's conjections proved correct. 
His caution and vigilance had saved his bark from probable 
wreck. f On the next day, they doubled the dangerous head- 
land, which they named Saint Francis;]; now known as Long 

At sunset, they had already sailed forty-five leagues from the 
outlet of the lake. After another anxious night, they reached 
the widest part of the lake; from the shores of which, on either 
hand, stretched interminable forests, unbroken by the faintest 
sign of civilisation. Westward the course of Empire was now 

* Hennepin, N* .1 >., y. 121. 

I^rv, DeCoUV., \ul. ii., p. 2^0. 

X Hennepin, X. D.,p. 122. 


taking its way, under the flag of France, gallantly borne by 
her adventurous explorers, of which the projector and builder 
of the Griffon was the chief. 

France was thus laying the foundations of her dominion 
over Canada, the Northwest and Louisiana; soon to be wrested 
from her by the more powerful grasp of England — the latter, 
in her turn, compelled to yield the fairest portion of her con- 
quest to her rebellious colonies. 

On the ninth, the winds being favorable, and the lake 
smooth, Pointe au Pins and Pointe Pellee were doubled, on the 
right; and on the tenth, early in the morning, passing between 
Pointe Pellee and the Bass Islands, they reached the mouth of 
the Detroit river.* 

Here they found Tonty and his men, waiting for the ship. 
They had encamped on a narrow beach at the mouth of the 
strait, with the river in front and a marsh in the rear. A fresh 
northeast wind had, during the night, so suddenly raised the 
water at that end of the lake, that it surprised and threatened 
to overwhelm them, in their slumbers. At break of day, the 
Griffon appeared — a welcome sight. They signaled her with 
three columns of smoke. She came to anchor at the summons, 
and received them on board. 

On the eleventh, she entered the river and sailed up between 
Grossc Isle and Bois Black islands. Hennepin was even more 
impressed with the beautiful scenery of this river, than by that 
of the Niagara. Following the official account, he describes 
the strait as thirty leagues long; bordered by low and level 
banks, and navigable throughout its entire length. That on 
either hand were vast prairies, extending back to hills covered 
with vines, fruit trees, thickets and tall forests, so distributed 
as to seem rather the work of art, than of nature. All kinds of 
game abounded, including many species new to the travelers. 
The awnings whic covered the deck of th« Griffon, were gar- 

* Margry, Deeouv., vol. i., p. 445. Hennepin, X. D. 

tMaijjry, Decuv., Vol. i., p. 57^. 


nished with carcasses of deer, killed by the crew. Abundance 
of all kinds of timber, suitable for building purposes, was 
growing on shore; also fruit-bearing trees, including the wal- 
nut, the chestnut, plum ana apple; together with wild vines, 
loaded with grapes, from which they made a little wine. "The 
inhabitants," says Hennepin, "who will have the good fortune, 
some day, to settle on this pleasant and fertile strait, will bless 
the memory of those who pioneered the way, and crossed Lake 
Erie by more than a hundred leagues of an untried navigation."' - " 

Hennepin had failed to induce La Salle to found a colony 
on the banks of the Niagara. Pie now set forth the superior 
merits of the Detroit river for such an establishment, pressing 
its commercial advantages; while his real object, as avowed in 
his narrative, was to advance the interests of religion, under 
cover of secular considerations.! But he made no impression 
on the fixed purposes of La Salle, who resolutely pursued his 
way in the Griffoji, intent on the accomplishment of the great 
enterprise he had inaugurated. 

On the tenth of August, the festival of Saintc Clare, they en- 
tered and crossed the lake, which they named after that mar- 
tyred saint. In attempting to pass from the lake into the 
river above, they encountered the same obstacles, which, after 
the lapse of two centuries, confront the mariners of the present 
day. It is a reproach to the enterprise of two powerful com- 
mercial nations, that they should suffer such a barrier to exist, 
for a single season, in the great highway between the East and 
the West. In describing it. Hennepin says: "We found the 
mouth of the St. Clair river divided into many narrow channels, 
full of sand-bars and shoals. After carefully sounding them 
all, we discovered a very line one, two or three fathoms deep, 
and almost a league wide, throughout its entire length. "J; 

* Hennepin. X. ", 124. Marirry, Decouv., vol. 1..41. 44s. 
+ Hennepin, N. 1 ., p. 105. 

£ Hennepin, N. I)., p. u->. Margry, Decmiv., vol. i.. p. 446. The figures in the te\i 
•e greatly exaggerated. Neither i.f tli-r channel* thrmt ;h the St. Cl.iir flats, are over hall 
mile vwtlt.-, and their avenue depth is lesa than ten feet. 


Contrary winds delayed their progress through the St. Clair 
river for several days. At length they were enabled to ap- 
proach" Lake Huron; but the violent current, increased by a 
northerly gale, prevented their advancing. The wind shifting 
to the south, they succeeded, with the aid of a dozen men 
towing on shore, as at the outlet of Lake Erie, in surmounting 
the rapids, which were pronounced by Hennepin almost as strong 
as those of the Niagara. They entered the lake on the twenty - 
third of August; the Franciscans chanting the Te .Dcmn for trie 
third time, and thanking the Almighty for their safe navigation 
thus far, and for the sight of the great bay of Lake Huron; on 
the eastern shores of which their brethren had established the 
earliest missions in North America, sixty-four years before." 

As soon as they entered the ia^ke, a fresh wind drove them 
rapidly along its eastern shore until evening, when it changed 
violently to the southwest. The Griffon then tacked to the 
northwest, and, running on that course all night, crossed the great 
bay of " Sakinain" (Saginaw), thirty miles in width, and which 
penetrates twice that distance into the heart of the Michigan 
Peninsula. When morning came, they were running in sight of 
land, on a northwesterly course, parallel with the western coast. 
This continued until evening, when they were becalmed in two 
fathoms water, among the Thunder Bay Islands. They sought, 
under easy sail, for an anchorage, during a part of the next 
slight; but, finding none satisfactory, ami the wind increasing 
from the west, they steered north to gain an offing, sounding 
their way and waiting for the day. La Salie, having discovered 
evidences of negligence on the [tart of the pilot, took personal 
supervision of the lead during the remainder of the voyage.' 

On the twenty-fifth, they were becalmed until noon; when, 
favored by a southerly wind, the}' steered northwest. Suddenly, 
the wind veered to the southwest. At midnight, the}' changed 
their course to the n rth, to avoid a cape, s"Tnce*known as Presque 

* Hennepin, X. I>.. p. i2>). 

tMaitiry, Livomv., vol. i.. p. 447. Hennepin, X. !>.. p. 131. 


Isle, which projected into the lake. Hardly had they doubled 
this, when a furious gale compelled them to beat to windward 
under main and foresail, and then to lie to until morning.* 

On the twenty-sixth, the violence of the gale obliged them to 
send down their topmasts, to lash their yards to the deck, and 
drift at the mercy of the storm. At noon, the waves ran so high 
and the lake became so rough, as to compel them to stand in 
for the land.f 

At this juncture, as related by Hennepin, La Salle entered 
the cabin in much alarm, exclaiming that he commended his 
enterprise to the Divine protection. "We had been accustomed.'* 
says Hennepin, "during the entire voyage, to fall on our knees 
morning and evening, to say our prayers publicly, and sing some 
hymns of the church. But t£ie storm was now so violent, that 
we could not remain on deck. In this extremity, each one 
performed his devotions independently, as well as he could, ex- 
cept our pilot, who could never be persuaded to follow our 
example. He complained that the Sieur de la Salle had brought 
him thus far, to lose, in a fresh-water lake, the glory he had 
acquired in many successful voyages by sea. "J; 

In this fearful crisis, La Salle was induced, by the importunity 
of the Recollects, to make a special vow; and, taking Saint An- 
thony de Padua, the tutelary saint of the sailor, for his patron. 
he promised, that if God would deliver them from their present 
peril, the first chapel erected in Louisiana should be dedicated 
to the memory of that venerated saint. The vow seems to 
have met a response, for the wind slightly decreased. They 
were obliged, however, to lie to, drifting slowly all night, unable 
to find either anchorage or shelter. 

On the twenty-seventh, they were driven northwesterly until 
evening; when, under favor, of a light southerly breeze, they 
rounded Point St. Ignace, and anchored in the calm waters 

* Margry, Decouv., vol. i.. p. 447. 
tMargry, Decouv., vol. L, p. 447. 
♦Hennepin, N. 1)., p. 132. 


of the bay of Missillimackinac, described as a sheltered 
harbor, protected on all sides, except from the southeast.* 
Here our voyagers found a settlement, composed of Hurons 
(Kiskakons), Ottawas, and a few Frenchmen. A bark-covered 
-chapel bore the emblem of the cross, erected over a mission 
planted by the Jesuits. Like a dim taper, it shone, with 
feeble light, in a 'vast wilderness of pagan darkness. Here it 
was that Marquette and Jolliet, priest and layman, organized, 
six years before, their memorable voyage down the Mississippi; 
and here the bones of the honored missionary found a grave, 
until rifled by some sacrilegious relic hunter. A few fragments 
that were spared, have been gathered and preserved with pious 
care, soon to be deposited under a monument, which will be 
visible far and wide, over land and water; and show, to coming 
generations, where the thrice-buried remains of the heroic Mar- 
quette have found a final resting place. 

The safe arrival of the 'Griffon in this secure haven, was the 
occasion of great rejoicing to the weary voyagers. A salute 
was fired from her deck, and thrice responded to by the fire- 
arms of the Hurons on shore. Mass was gratefully celebrated 
by the Franciscans, in the chapel of the Ottawas. La Salle 
attended, robed in fine clothes, including a scarlet cloak bor- 
dered with gold lace; his arms being laid aside in the chapel, in 
charge of a sentinel. In the distance, the Griffon lay at anchor; 
presenting, with her fine equipment, an imposing appearance. 
More than a hundred bark canoes gathered around her, attrac- 
ted by the novel spectacle.! 

La Salle found, at Missillimakinac, a part of the fifteen men 
that he had sent forward from Fort Frontenac to trade with the 
Illinois Indians, and whom he supposed were already among 
the latter. They had listened to reports on the way, that the 
plans of La Salle were visionary, and that the Griffon would 
never reach Mis>illim .kinac. La Salle sef/ed four oi the de- 

* Margry, Deconv., vol. 1., ]>. 447. 

t Hennepin, N. p., p. 135. Margry, Decouv. vol. i.. pp. 440. -- ,. 


serters; and, learning that two more were at the Saut Sainte 
Marie, he despatched Tonty on the twenty-ninth of September, 
with six assistants, to arrest them. 

As the season was rapidly passing away, he was unable to 
wait for Tonty's return, and gave orders for the departure 
of the Griffon. On the twelfth of September, five days before 
Tonty's return, she sailed out- of the straits, into Lake Michi- 
gan, then named Illinois.* A prosperous run brought her to 
an island since called Washington Island, 'forty leagues from 
Missillimackinac, inhabited by the Pottawatamies. It is situa- 
ted at the entrance of L.a Grand Bale, a name since corrupted 
into Green Bay. Some of the party were found there, who 
had been sent forward by La Salle to the Illinois, the year 
previous. They had collected a large quantity of furs, to the 
amount of 12,000- pounds, in anticipation of the arrival of the 
Griffon. Our navigators found secure shelter in a small bay, 
now known as Detroit harbor, on the southerly side of the 
island, where they rode out, at anchor, a violent storm of four 
days duration.! 

As winter was now approaching, La Salle loaded the Griffon 
with the furs which had thus been collected; intending to send 
them to the storehouse he had built above the Falls: from 
thence to be transhipped to Fort Frontenac, in satisfaction ot 
the claims of his creditors. His own purpose was to pursue 
his route, by canoe, to the head of Lake Michigan; and from 
thence to the country of the Illinois. Being unable to obtain 
more than four canoes, which were wholly insufficient to con- 
tain all the merchandise and the various articles destined for 
his southern enterprise, he was obliged to leave a portion of his 
goods in the •Griffon, with directions to the pilot to deposit 
them at Missillimackinac, until the vessel should call for 
them, on her return voyage. \ „ 

*Margry, vol. i., p. 450. Hennepin, [.a., p. 68. Hennepin, N. !>.,•,>. 14 >. Hem 
says, tin: Griffon left NlissiUimackinac on the second i»f September. 
tM.irgry, Uecnuv., vol. i,, p. 430. Hennepin, N. P.. p. 140. 
} Margry, Decouv., vol. i., p. 450. 


The Griffon sailed for the Niagara on the eighteenth of Sep- 
tember, but without La Salle; a fatal error, which probable 
caused the loss of the vessel, her cargo and crew. A favorable 
wind bore her from the harbor; and, with a single gun, she bid 
adieu to her enterprising builder, who never saw her again. 
She bore a cargo, valued, with the vessel, at fifty or sixty thous- 
and francs, obtained at a great sacrifice of time and treasure. 
She was placed under the command of the pilot, Luc, assisted 
by a supercargo and five good sailors; with directions to call 
at Missillimackinac, and from thence proceed to the Niagara. 
Nothing more was heard of her. On the second day after she 
sailed, a storm arose which lasted five days. It was one of 
those destructive gales which usually prevail at that season 
over the northern lakes. She is- reported to have been seen 
among the islands in the northerly end of Lake Michigan, two 
days after sailing, by some Pottawatamies, who advised the 
pilot to wait for more favorable weather. They last saw her 
half a league from the shore, helplessly driven by the storm 
upon a sandy bar, where she probably foundered; a total loss, 
with all on board. * 

A hatchway, a cabin door, the truck of a Hag-staff, a pierce of 
rope, a pack of spoiled beaver skins, two pair of linen breeches 
torn and spoiled with tar, were subsequently found, and recog- 
nized as relics of the ill-fated ship.f 

The day after she sailed. La Salle, with the Recollects and 
fourteen men, left in four bark canoes, laden with a forge and 
its appurtenances, carpenters', joiners', and sawyers' tools, with 
arms^and merchandise, and pursued his way along the western 
shore of Lake Michigan, and entered the Illinois and Mississippi 
rivers, in the prosecution of his enterprise. After leaving 
Green Bay, he had hardly crossed half way from the island to 
the main shore, when the same storm in which the Griffon was 
wrecked, burst upon hi. party, in all its fury. They succeeded 

* Hennepin, \. D., p. 14 •. Marjry, Decouv., vol. i.. pp. 430, 451. 
t.Mar. . U lv.,vo1. »., p. 74- ' 


in landing in a small sandy bay, where they were detained five 
days, waiting for the abatement of the tempest. In the mean 
time, La Salle was filled with anxious forebodings as to the 
safety of his vessel.* Many months elapsed before he heard 
of its loss. It was not the only disaster, but one of a scries. 
which befell this enterprising explorer. Vet his iron will was 
not subdued, nor his impetuous ardor diminished. He con- 
tinued to prosecute his discoveries, under the most dishearten- 
ing reverses, with a self-reliance and energy that never faltered. 
He was equal to every situation, whether sharing the luxuries 
of civilized life, or the privations of the wilderness; whether 
contending with the snows of a Canadian winter, or the burn- 
ing heats of Texas; whether paddling his canoe along the north- 
ern lakes, or seeking, by sea, for the mouth of the Mississippi. 
His eventful life embodied the elements of a grand epic poem, 
full of romantic interest and graphic incident; alternating in 
success and failure, and culminating in a tragic death. 

France and America, in friendly and honorable rivalry, are 
now seeking to do justice to his fame. The rehearsal of the 
story of the Griffon, the building of which, through his enter- 
prise, was the earliest event of historical interest on the Niagara 
frontier, seems, on this bi-centennial anniversary, an appro- 
priate tribute to his memory. 

* Hennepin, X. D., p. 144. Mar,-rv, Decern v., vol. i., p. 451. 



:ead before the society, march 20, 1876, and revised and continues to the 
present time. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

We live in the first centennial year of these L T nitcd States; 
a period abounding in glorious reminiscences of patriotic en- 
thusiasm; of brave exploits in the Revolutionary War, and of 
the legislative wisdom, which, almost one hundred years ago, 
on the virgin soil of the New World, gave birth to this repub- 
lic. And we celebrate our government as one granting and 
guaranteeing the largest measure of civil and religious freedom 
a citizen could reasonably expect; one which generously opened 
the gates on all sides for settlement upon her lands, to the 
children of all nations, treating none as step-children. This 
republic, one hundred years ago a weak infant, now stands be- 
fore the world, a giant. 

The Children of Ism- 1 since the destruction of the second 
Temple at Jerusalem by the Romans scattered over the whole 

* Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion. 


habitable globe, banished and oppressed, hunted by hatred and 
prejudice, fleeced by princes and nobles, and continually made 
the objects of derision and plunder by misguided multitudes, 
•especially hail this Genius of Liberty; for it opened to them a 
free asylum, where they might dwell in safety, and identify 
themselves with the interests of the nation by developing and 
practically employing their faculties throughout society, in 
every lawful pursuit. From all countries, pre-eminently those 
of Europe, the Israelites began to flock to the shores of the 
United States. As a matter of course, the oldest and largest 
cities, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Charles- 
ton, New Orleans, Boston, Cincinnati, show the earliest records 
of Jewish settlements in this country. Buffalo, one of the 
younger cities, is naturally behind these in the date of Jew ish 
arrivals, as well as in the number of Jewish inhabitants. 

The Jews, a people who profess a historically developed re- 
ligion, and have kept pace with the march of History from the 
civilization of ancient Egypt down to the present day, — who 
were, in the Middle Ages, the teachers of philosophy, and gave 
to Europe the impulse of scientific progress, — have nowhere- 
failed to excite the curiosity of the inhabitants of the places 
where they have taken up their abode. 1 have no doubt, gentle- 
men, that you have felt, at times, some interest in the represent- 
atives of this people in our goodly city; and in grateful appre- 
ciation of the resolution of this society, which last winter made 
me. a resident member, an honor certainly undeserved on my 
part, I have undertaken to entertain you, if I may, this eve- 
ning, with a history of the Israelites of Buffalo; to tell you of 
their original settlement here, their subsequent organizations, 
and their social position. 

The knowledge of facts anterior to my own experience, 1 
have derived mostly from authentic records; and, wherever 
these were found wanting in positive information, I have re- 
sorted to verbal information, from those on whose mem, :\ 
reliance could be placed. 


As soon as Buffalo had risen from the rank of a village, to 
the significance of a city, Israelites began to find their way to 
this Queen City of the Lakes. 

The first Israelite found residing here by those who came 
later, was a Mr. Flersheim, from Frankfort-on-the-Main. His 
occupation was that of a private teacher, giving instruction in 
German. He must have been in Buffalo as early as 1835. The 
second was Barnard Lichtenstein, who is still living, and re- 
sides in Waupun, Wisconsin. He was known here in 1S3S, 
and was a constant resident of Buffalo till about two years ago. 
The third was Salomon Phillipp, from Hamburg. He was 
never married, and died here in March, 1867. The fourth was 
Elias Bernheimer. Then came Mr. Joseph E. Strass, a Ba- 
varian, who arrived here in the spring of 1843, and resides 
here still. Among the earliest settlers of Jewish birth, suc- 
ceeding these, were Mark Moritz, Samuel Altman and Michael 
Will. Noah; the latter, an Englishman, whose wife still resides 

It behooves me, before proceeding further, to offer some 
explanatory remarks about the Jewish worship and religious 
observances, at that early day everywhere intact. 

Ten male Israelites, who have passed the thirteenth year of 
their age, are the number requisite to form a congregation 
entitled to hold Divine service; that is, the reading of the Law 
from the scroll of parchment, and the recital of prayers, are 
not allowed with a less number than ten. A beautiful custom 
in Israel, still pretty generally observed, is the holding of 
Divine^ service on the anniversary of the death of father or 
mother; including the offering of special prayers for the de- 
parted soul. This secures to the deceased a sacred memory, 
and at the same time fosters filial affection in the hearts of the 
rising generation. 17" to this day, conservative Israelites are 
careful not to neglect such anniversaries. *llcncc, no sooner 
could the first few settlers of the Hebrew pursuasion 
together the number requisite for holding Divine service, 


than they solicited the attendance of every available one, 
for the observance just described. Thus the nuclei of Jewish 
associations were formed. Such religious assemblages were 
gathered in the parlors of those who needed them. Divine 
service was also conducted in private rooms on high feasts, 
such as New Year's Day, Day of Atonement and Passover. 

The first public worship of Israelites known to have been 
held in Buffalo, took place in the old Concert Hall, afterwards 
Townsend Hall, southwest corner of Main and Swan streets, in 
the spring of 1847, f° r the celebration of our Passover feast; the 
rental fee for that purpose having been obtained by the volun- 
tary contributions of the participants. 

The Israelites having increased in number — the women feel- 
ing likewise the inward necessity of enjoying the spiritual 
benefits of public Divine worship — the want of an organized 
religious society was deeply felt by all. Therefore, "actuated 
by a sense of gratitude for enjoyment of their inalienable 
human rights, granted them in the land of their adoption, and 
for the inestimable privilege of moving at liberty in the 'kind 
of the free,' to form associations of their own; recognizing at 
the same time the duty of pecuniarily assisting, and personally 
attending upon, sick brethren, and piously adhering to the 
time-honored custom of watching with their sick co-religionists 
in their dying hours, and reciting the religious profession, that 
they might expire in the faith of their fathers," the so-called 
Jacobsohn Society was organized on the third day of October. 
1847. Eleven gentlemen united in this, whose names were 
as follows: Louis Dahlman, Hirsch Sinzheimer, Moritz Weil, 
Emanuel Strauss, Joseph Mayer, Sam. Held, Jacob Lowen- 
thal, Louis Rindskopf, Samuel Desbeckcr, Abraham Strass and 
Joseph E. Strass. Their first president was Louis Dahlman, 
and their ma 1 object was visiting the sick, dispensing weekly 
benefits, and securing decent burial of the dead in accordance 
with Jewish rites. 

The necessity of procuring a Jewish burvinu, ground forced 


itself on the members of the Jacobsohn Society on the death of 
the wife of Elias Bernheimer. Ever since the patriarch, Jacob, 
in his last words, said to his son Joseph, " I pray thee, do not 
bury me in Egypt, but I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt 
carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in this burying place," 
there existed a strong desire in the hearts of Israelites, for burial 
in a spot consecrated by Israelites, for their last resting place. 
And so, here, the Jacobsohn Society bought a piece of land for 
their burying ground, situated near Batavia street, now front- 
ing Fillmore avenue. This burial place was, however, aban- 
doned July 19th, 1861. 

But to care for the sick and the dead was not the only object 
of the society. They had, in their constitution, a paragraph re- 
quiring members' to bring their disputes, arising from injury 
done to their interests, as well as all matters touching the 
honor or reputation of members, before the board of the 
society for adjustment, in order to avoid going to law with co- 
religionists; monetary affairs in dispute, to be submitted to a 
peace-committee for arbitration. The constitution also con- 
tained a clause imposing fines on members for proven slanders, 
or any attempts to injure the character of a brother, or do him 
bodily harm. 

Practically useful, however, as this society was, — benevolent 
in its intent, and calculated to be a guardian even of the mor- 
ality of its members, — it did not exist longer than five years. 
Several influential members had removed from the city. Xew 
elements had been added, which disturbed the harmonv that 
at first marked its progress; and the remaining members, on 
account of continued discussions, finally agreed to dissolve the 
society, and divide its accumulated funds. 

From the fact of Israel's dispersion among all nations, vou 
will readily perceive, as you have undoubtedly noticed in the 
statement already gi/en about the first Jewish settlers, that the 
Israelites belonged to different nationalities. Besides the pre- 
judice which education within the form and life of a particular 


nationality naturally breeds, there was also in the matter of 
religion a barrier of separation, a variation in sentiment and 
practice, which worked the stronger, as it was connected with 
nationality. In Europe there are three principal liturgies in 
use at Divine service, public or private; namely, the German, 
the Polish, and the Portuguese Minhag* They differ mainly 
in the pronunciation of the Hebrew, and in the wording and 
length of their prayers. The variation is not in creed, but in 
the mode of worship. Usage, however, in course of time be- 
comes law; and habit is man's second nature. It soon became 
obvious that the Israelites of Buffalo, as new-comers were 
added to their ranks, hailing as they did from different coun- 
tries and nations, could not harmonize the peculiarities of their 
respective forms of synagogical worship, and of the various 
usages to which they were accustomed from their earliest child- 
hood. This circumstance, together with a heterogeneous so- 
cial life, soon created a division among the Israelites in Buffalo. 
Poland and Russia, containing a greater number of Israelites 
than any other countries, sent very many of them as emigrants 
to America; numbers of whom came to Buffalo. Bavaria, 
where they were the most severely oppressed and the most 
cruelly proscribed, sent the greatest number of German Israel- 
ites to this land. Hence, according to nationality or national 
affinity, and liturgical predilections, religious societies were 
formed everywhere in this country, in earlier times; whereas, 
now, the distinction of Reform and Orthodoxy decides Israel- 
ites as to uniting with one congregation or another. 

The need of a place for public worship came to be felt in 
"this city more and more, from Sabbath to Sabbath. The solemn 
feasts were approaching, the services of a minister were fre- 
quently needed, not only for conducting Divine service, but 
also in maintaining the strict observance of the dietary laws. 
Accordingly, in the year 1847, the first Jewish congregation in 

* kilual. or Liturgical Service. 


this city was organized, and named "Beth El;"* with Mr. Mark 
Moritz, now living in San Francisco, California, as its first presi- 
dent; the Rev. Isaac M. Slatky, who, a few months ago, died in ripe 
old age at the General Hospital, being the first minister. This 
congregation, in its infancy, worshipped in the uppermost story 
of the Hoyt building, on the northwest corner of Main and 
Eagle streets. An amusing incident once occurred there, which 
deserves mention. It was on a Day of Atonement that Rev. 
Mr. Slatky stood in the synagogue the whole day, as the cus- 
tom was, in his white linen robe and white cap, with a white 
girdle about his loins. Toward dusk he again began to offi- 
ciate. The congregation could no longer read without lights; 
but it being strictly forbidden to the Israelites of the orthodox 
school to kindle a light or touch a candlestick on such a 
day, they sent for some non-Israelite to light their hall. 
They happened to procure a tall negro. He, on entering the 
synagogue, seeing Mr. .Slatky with his pallid face and his long 
white beard, in full keeping with his white attire, and scarf with 
the fringes prescribed in the Bible (Numbers xv., 38, 39), was 
seized with terror — ran out as quickly as he could — and reach- 
ing the stairs, fell headlong down the whole flight, causing 
quite a sensation by his precipitate exit. 

Beth El congregation occupied this place over two years: 
and, in 1850, bought the old school-house on Pearl street, near 
Eagle. On Friday, July 2 2d, 1850, the new synagogue into 
which that school-house had been re-modelled, was consecrated 
to the worship of God. Rev. Mr. Isaacs of New York, invited 
for the purpose, delivered the dedication sermon in the English 
language. This was, doubtless, the first English sermon ever 
listened to at a Jewish Divine service in this city. 

This synagogue, surrounded as it was by all sorts of bu>iness 
establishments, by which its worship was often disturbed, was 
at last sold by tn i congregation, aifd abandoned in October, 

* House of Clod. 


1873. A new building, more pleasing and spacious, and more 
in accord with the requirements and circumstances of the so- 
ciety, was erected on Elm street, between Eagle and North 
Division, and dedicated on Friday, August 14th, 1874. I had 
the honor of delivering the dedication sermon. At present, 
Mr. Henry Brown is president, and Rev. Philip Bernstein min- 
ister, of that conservative congregation. 

The Polish liturgy being used in the worship of this society, 
its services could not give satisfaction to the German Israel- 
ites. Hence, eleven of them called a preliminary meeting, 
which was held November 14th, 1850, and followed by another, 
November 27th, at which a'congregation was organized accord- 
ing to the German liturgy. This was called Beth Zion* and 
the first Board of Trustees elected, consisted of E. T. Bernhei- 
mer, President; Albert Strass, Vice-President and Treasurer; 
Moritz Weil, Secretary; Israel Drinker, David Kurtz and 
Jacob Strauss, Trustees. Rev. Mr. Slatky, who had severed his 
connection with the Beth El congregation, now engaged him- 
self to the German congregation, Beth Zion, from December 
1st, 1850, for five dollars per month, and from May 1st, 1851, 
at one hundred dollars per annum. He was not required to 
preach, or to teach children; he simply read the prayers and 
the T7wra,\ and attended to the procurement of meat accord- 
ing to the Scriptural and Rabbinical dietary laws. 

The congregation Beth Zion at first worshipped in the parlor 
of Mr. Sinzheimer, No. 55 Oak street; who received fifty cents 
per month for the use of his room. For this consideration, the 
society was also entitled to hold its business meetings there, at 
any time they pleased. 

Any member of this congregation, not belonging to the Ja- 
cobsohn Society, could, by an arrangement perfected with the 
latter, purchase a right in the burying ground of that society, 
by paying an u itiation fee of three dollars, and during life- 

* H<>u-e of Zion. 
+ Roll of the Law, 


time twelve and one-half cents per month, as regular dues. 

Long after the dissolution of the Jacobsohn Society, namely, 
November 18th, 1857, the surviving members thereof deeded 
their burying ground to the congregation Beth Zion.* 

Rev. Mr. Slatky served this congregation only three weeks. 
The next minister regularly elected, was Mr. Daniel Shire; 
who entered upon his duties, January 6th, 1851, and is still a 
resident of our city. 

The congregation Beth Zion labored under many trying dis- 
advantages. It rented various places of worship from time to 
time, its last synagogical home being the house on the north- 
west corner of South Division and Elm streets, which was 
occupied till the organization disbanded in 1864. 

But, meanwhile, discord very often appeared among the 
members, arising from their peculiar notions, which none were 
willing to relinguish for the sake of peace, or to favor others. 
They had, for the most part, well educated ministers, whose 
efficiency, however, was much impaired, and whose dignity 
was lowered, by functions unbecoming a minister. 

This society deserves especial credit for the fact that by it 
peculiar regard was paid to the sacred duty devolving upon 
Jewish parents of having their children instructed in the reli- 
gion of their fathers; the minister being the school teacher, and 
receiving all the pecuniary income which this afforded, while 
the congregation furnished room and fuel, free of charge. 

Beth Zion, however, struggled on, without any sign of pros- 
perity. Meanwhile the War of the Rebellion broke out. 
Times_changed remarkably within two years, and brought new 
accessions of energetic Israelites to Buffalo, in addition to 
those who had settled here after the panic of 1857. The claim 
of modern times on behalf of the exercise of religion, was felt 
and recognized on all hands. Wealtji increased. Parents 
realized, more and . lore, their obligation to* provide a liberal 

* Sue Buffalo Cemeteries, p. 7;. 


religious education for their children. The antiquated arrange- 
ment in the synagogues, which placed the women in a gallery, 
almost hidden from the eyes of men and boys — the daughters 
being left at home till they were married — ceased to satisfy 
those who were fully imbued with the progressive spirit which 
in other cities called flourishing congregations into existence r 
built beautiful temples, and established Reform services there- 
in, to. the glory of God. Those Israelites of Buffalo who favored 
liberal ideas, felt the weight of responsibility for the fact that they 
were not worthily represented before the Christian community. 

Actuated by these sentiments, the following named gentle- 
men, Jacob Altman, Henry Brock, Henry Cone, Henry Friend, 
Leopold Reiser, Siegmund Levyn, Leopold Marcus and Mar- 
cus Wall, in September, 186,3, requested the Rev. Dr. Wise of 
Cincinnati to send them a minister to preach before them and 
others, on the high feasts of New Year's Day and Day of 
Atonement. Kremlin Hall was rented, and converted into a 
place of worship for the time being. It was an entire novelty 
to many Israelites in this city, to see a Divine service conducted 
with such essential deviation from the old Ritual: — a modern 
service, enhanced in interest by choir-singing; and edifying, 
through the preaching of the word of God in a known tongue. 

The people were on this occasion favorably impressed with 
the new form of worship. It was some time, of course, before 
the Reform movement could win over a considerable number. 
But those at first interested in the cause, showed willingness to 
give a practical shape to the idea which agitated the Jewish 
community; and, in response to a call, a preliminary meeting 
was held, October 9th, 1864, at Kremlin Hall, for the purpose 
of organizing a Reform congregation. Mr. Joseph E. Strass 
called the meeting to order; Mr. Leopold Reiser was elected 
chairman, and Mr. Louis M. Brock, secretary, pro tern, A 
committee p.esented a report in favo* of organizing a congre- 
gation, to be known as T/ic Congregation of Tin; He Bith //<>/;; 
recommending that its worship should be conducted on Reform 


principles, and that a school for the religious education of the 
children, held to be one of the main objects of the organiza- 
tion, should be established. The report was unanimously 
adopted; and, at a subsequent meeting, a committee was em- 
powered to lease, buy or build a place of worship, and to engage 
a minister for one year; it being provided that no member 
should subscribe less than twenty-five dollars to the support of 
the congregation. 

The following were the charter members of this Reform con- 
gregation: Jacob Altman, Simon Bergman, Salomon Biesen- 
thal, Moritz Block, Henry Brock, Louis M. Brock, Henry 
Cone, Samuel Desbecker, Abraham P'alck, Siegmund Hofeller, 
Leopold Reiser, Emanuel Levi, Siegmund Levyn, Leopold 
Marcus, Louis Michaels, David Rosenau, Salomon Rosenau, 
Joseph E. Strass, Marcus Wall, Leopold Warner and Marcus 

The number being so limited, negotiations were opened with 
the old Beth Zion congregation, looking to a fusion of the two 
societies. The plan proved to be as favorable as it was desir- 
able. Old Beth Zion lacking numerical strength, was satisfied 
that it could sustain itself no longer, yet its members insisted 
on retaining their name Beth Zion for the new union, and this 
wasa greed upon. The name of the Reform congregation, in 
contradistinction to the old society, is, therefore, " Temple Beth 

Among other conditions of the fusion, old Beth Zion gave to 
the new organization their burying ground on Bine Hill; to 
which, last year, Mr. Simon Weil added by a legal instrument 
the adjoining tract, which was owned by those members of the 
old Beth Zion who declined joining the new one. Temple 
Beth Zion owns, also, the abandoned burying ground on Bata- 
via street. 

The first officers . r Temple Beth Zion were* Siegmund I ,e- 
vyn, President; Siegmund Hofeller, Vice-President; Jacob 
Altman, Treasurer; David Rosenau, Secretary; Salomon Hie- 


senthal, Leopold Reiser, Joseph E. Strass and Leopold Marcus. 
Trustees. The first minister of the congregation was Rev. 1. 
N. Cohen, whom I had the honor to succeed, November ist, 
1866. The present officers are: President, Henry Brock; Vice- 
President, Leopold Reiser; Treasurer, Lehman Hotelier. 

The next important step, after the election of Mr. Cohen, 
who had formerly been minister of the old Beth Zion, was the 
purchase of a place of worship. The Methodist Episcopal 
church on Niagara street, just below Eagle, then owned by 
Mr. William G. Fargo, was purchased for the sum of thirteen 
thousand dollars, and was suitably fitted up for Jewish worship. 
Over seven thousand dollars were raised forthwith, by sub- 
scription; which Mr.' Abraham Altman headed with the munifi- 
cent gift of one thousand dollars. 

The Temple was dedicated, Friday, May 25th, 1S65, with 
appropriate solemnities; Rev. Dr. Wise of Cincinnati deliver- 
ing the dedication sermon. The sacrifices in time and means 
brought for this good object are truly praiseworthy; and de- 
serve to be remembered among the facts gathered and recorded 
under the auspices of our local Historical Society. 

In most houses of worship on both sides of the Atlantic. 
trained choirs have to be dearly paid for. The congregation 
Temple Beth Zion deserves to be noted as one of the de 
exceptions. From its very beginning, members who contribu- 
ted large sums annually to its support formed a volunteer choir, 
attended regularly every Divine service, and vied with the 
lady choristers in promptly obeying the organist's summons to 
rehearsals. The names of those who for eight or ten years 
persevered in setting so noble an example, ought to be recorded: 
they were Misses Fanny Biesenthal, Mathilda Brock, and Ma- 
thilda Wiener; and Messrs. Louis M. Brock. Henry Cone. Dan- 
iel Shire, Siegmund Levyn and Leopold Marcus. This volun- 
teer choii las been justly the pride mi the congregation. 

Peace and harmony among the members, who count now 
seventy-eight paying seat-owners, and an energetic and well- 


meaning administration of congregational affairs, have so far 
marked the progress, revealed the strength, and made known 
the secret of the vitality of this youthful society. 

On Elm street, between Batavia and Clinton, worship every 
morning and evening the congregation " Bcrith Shalom"* a 
society consisting wholly of Prussian Israelites. They for 
twelve years constituted a Mutual Benefit Society for attend- 
ing to the sick and burying the dead; but gradually merged 
into a religious congregation of the strictest orthodox type. 
They built a frame synagogue, which was dedicated on Friday, 
August 24th, 1873. Their present president is Mr. Gumbinsky; 
and their minister is Rev. Mr. Jacobsohn. 

The social position of the Israelites of Buffalo, may be best 
understood from the societies they maintain and the occupa- 
tions they represent. 

The Hebrew Union Benevolent Association originated from a 
meeting, which was held July 15th, 1863, in the house of Samuel 
Kohn on Batavia street," for the purpose of raising funds to 
buy substitutes for every Israelite who might be drafted into 
the army of the United States. But the waves of patriotism 
ran so high on that occasion, that instead of raising funds, the 
formation of a Jewish company of volunteers was reported; 
thirty-two names being subscribed for membership. Of the 
signers, nine actually enlisted in different regiments. Instead of 
furnishing substitutes, a benevolent society was started on the 
same day with the formation of the military company; and 
funds were secured, by subscription, for the efficient assistance 
of our Jewish home poor, and worthy Jewish travelers. This 
society has done immense good in these thirteen years of its 
existence. Its first president was Leon Mayer ; its present 
president is Simon Bergman. The ladies also called a benevo- 
lent society into existence for a similar purpose, pre-eminently 
for dispensing reli<_. to sick and needy women. Its present 

* Covenant of Peace. 


president is Mrs. William Friedman; who, two years ago, was 
chiefly instrumental in organizing a Ladies' Sewing Society, to 
furnish wearing apparel for the destitute. 

In the summer of 1871, the ladies of Temple Beth Zion 
joined the Protestant Ladies' Hospital Association of this city; 
and have, so far, every year returned a liberal donation toward 
the support of that philanthropic institution. The first two 
lady managers of our congregation were Mrs. Abraham Altman 
and Mrs. Henry Cone. The present two managers are Mrs. 
Abraham Altman and Mrs. Simon Bergman. 

In the fall of 1873, the congregation of Temple Beth Zion 
joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Ex- 
ecutive Board of which is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the object, 
the scientific education and professional qualification of Jew- 
ish ministers and teachers in this country, in a rabbinial 
college, to be established for this purpose. In July, 1S75, tne 
second annual council of delegates from the congregations 
constituting the Union was held in this city, in McArthur's 
Hall; where a large company of divines, gentlemen of the legal 
profession and prominent merchants, met and discussed the 
affairs and prospects of the much needed Hebrew Union Col- 

Besides the societies of a purely charitable nature, there is a 
society of True Sisters; for mutual care in case of sickness and 

There are four Jewish lodges in the city. The oldest is 
Montefiore Lodge, X-o. 70, I. (). B. B.,* which meets twice a 
month at the Lodge Hall, No. 13 Court street; where, also, 
the other lodges (two K 7 ifttr sA 'e 7 luirztiA and one of the In- 
pendent Order of Free Sons of Israel) hold their services. 
In respect to nationality, the Israelites are English, French, 
Germans Hollanders, Austrian^, Hungarians, Polanders, and 
Russians. • 

■ ■ truer />'. 
|:.UHi • lr :•.* 



As to occupation, they are divided as follows, alphabetically 


Banker, .... 

Barber, .... 

Butchers (wholesale), 


Cattle dealers, . 

Cigar makers (retail), at least, 

Cigar maker "(wholesale), 

Cigar dealer, 

Clothiers (retail), about . 

Clothing manufr's (wholesale), 

Dry-goods dealer-. 

Editor, .... 

Fancy-goods dealers, . 

Farmers (near Buffalo), 


Furnishing-goods dealer (wh.), 1 

I . 

Hardware dealer, . . 1 


Insurance agent, . . 1 


Jewelers (wholesale), . 5 


Metal dealers (wholesale), 5 


Milliners, . 3 


Ministers, ... 3 


Musician, . . . . 1 


Piece goods (wholesale), . 2 


Retired merchants, . . 5 


Shoemaker, ... I 


Tailors, . . . dozens 


Teachers, ... 4 

Variety dealers (1 wholesale), 

It is a safe estimate to say that there are one hundred - 
one hundred and twenty dwelling houses and business build- 
ings belonging to Israelites in this city; the largest Jewish prop- 
erty-owners being Messrs. Michaels Brothers. Besides all these 
items it must be stated that the Israelites of Buffalo co-mingle 
with the various elements of population in secret societies; 
some of them even taking a deep interest, especially in the 
higher dc = 'recs of Freemasonry. You will lind the Jews in the 
firemen's companies; active members of several singing so- 
cieties; in building and saving associations; in fire insurance 
companies; and they have their representative men in politics. 
Industrious and law-abiding citizens as they are, they identify 
themselves with the best interests of our city; and in their re- 
ligious" assemblages they offer prayers for the welfare of the 
community and the public authorities. 

This brief history, deficient as it may appear in some re- 
spects, is, I trust, illustrative no less of the cultivation of the 
spiritual and soci 1 interests, than of the increase in- number 
and wealth, of the Israelites. The blessings of this free country, 
and the enjoyment of equal rights by all her inhabitants. 


have ripened fruits in the province of Judaism, creditable and 
beneficial both to the Israelites and to their fellow-citizens. 
In the growth, embellishment and prosperity of this city we 
have an indisputable share. It is acknowledged, and by rec- 
ords proven, that Jewish children, in a very favorable propor- 
tion, distinguish themselves in our public schools; and Jewish 
students have graduated from our Central High School with 
well merited honors. Being just as far from self-glorification 
as from self-humiliation, I feel warranted to predict that the 
proverbial sobriety and benevolence, the earnestness of pur- 
pose and domestic virtues, of the Israelites, when more widely 
known, will soon dispel the mist of prejudice which, so long, 
so sadly wrong, has held the true Jewish character in obscurity. 
The praiseworthy aspiration of Israelites to associate with the 
better classes of society, may sporadically revive the old preju- 
dice in malicious and narrow-minded individuals; but, thanks 
to the enlightenment of our age, and thanks to the advanced 
public sentiment and sense of justice fostered by our free in- 
stitutions, such social phenomena will, instead of doing harm, 
tend rather to show the Hebrew race to better advantage. Let 
us hope that the time may not be far distant which will break 
down the barrier of separation between children of the same 
Heavenly Father and the same Mother, our common country. 






Grand Island lies in the Niagara river, County of Erie, and 
State of New York. Its south end is about four miles below 
the mouth of Lake Erie, fo the north, and its north end is 
about the same distance above the Niagara Falls. Its ex- 
treme mean length is a trifle over eight miles; its extreme 
breadth is a little over six miles — but that width extends only 
a small distance — the average being probably four and a half 
miles; containing in its whole area, by survey, 17,381 acres. 
It is a body of good agricultural land, and until about the 
year 1834, with the exception of ten or twelve hundred acres, 
was covered with a heavy growth of timber. Its situation 
along the shore of the river is exceedingly pleasant md com- 
manding, elevated six to thirty feet above the water; and along 
its various coasts embraces many picturesque views of the city 
of Buffalo, the villages of Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, and the 
adjacent Canadian and American shores. At its southwestern 
extremity lies, sep rated by the small" arn^ of Beaver creek 
about one hundred feet in width, Heaver Island, containing 
fortv acres. At its northwestern extremity, is a small inlet of 


deep water, called Burnt Ship bay, in which are two sunken 
hulks of vessels, said, by tradition (and no doubt truly), to be 
driven in there from Chippewa by the British forces and de- 
stroyed by their French commanders, in the French-and-Eng- 
lish Canadian war of the year 1755. In very low water the 
timber heads of one of these vessels may be seen a few inches 
above the surface. Separated by this bay, a narrow marsh, 
and an insignificant streamlet of only a few feet in width, lies 
Buckhorn Island, containing, by survey, one hundred and 
forty-six and one-half acres. No other islands are immediately 
contiguous to Grand Island. 

Spafford's Gazetteer, printed in the year 1S24, relates that 
the State of New York, by a treaty held with the Seneca In- 
dians at Buffalo, September 12, 1815, purchased of that tribe. 
Grand and several other small islands in the Niagara river. 
For Grand Island, this authority does not give the price paid 
by the State. My impression is, that I have seen in some other 
work that eleven thousand dollars was the consideration; and 
for the other small islands, Spafford states that the considera- 
tion was one thousand dollars and an annuity of live hundred 

Immediately after its purchase by the State, numerous squat- 
ters nocked on to Grand Island, and built cabins along its 
shores on both sides — on the west, or Canadian side, mostly — 
for the purpose of cutting, and working into staves, the valua- 
ble white-oak timber which abounded there, for the Montreal 
and Quebec markets. From those cities the staves were 
shipped, mainly, to the British West India Islands. The staves 
were taken from Grand Island in scow-boats to Chippewa, 
thence wagoned around the Falls to Lewiston, and there put 
on board sail-vessels for Montreal and Quebec. 

At the *'"me the State of New York purchased Grand Island, 
the territorial titles of the lake and civer islands between the 
United States and Canada were undetermined, and so thev re- 
mained until the year 1822, when all the islands in the Niagara 


river, excepting Navy Island, opposite the foot of Grand 
Island, were declared by the boundary commissioners, ap- 
pointed by the governments of the United States and Great 
Britain, to belong to the United States, and consequently they 
came under the jurisdiction of the State of New York. Up to 
the year 1819, the squatters held undisputed possession of the 
land, amenable to neither New York nor Canadian law; setting 
up a sort of government of their own, wherein they settled 
their own disputes, if they had any, but defying the authority 
of either jurisdiction on the opposite shores. In a foot-note 
to the Field Notes of the survey of the island made in the 
months of October and November, in the year 1824, by Silas 
D. Kellogg and James Tanner, after describing Lot No. 18, on 
the east, or American bank of the river, the surveyors remark: 


"On this lot stands the remains of a log cabin, in which the renowned 
Mr. Clarke used to reside. 'While it was undetermined to which government 
the island belonged, this man came on, and became generalissimo and the 
director of an independent judiciary, whose laws and customs were enforced 
and practiced like those of the King of the Outlaws." 

This Mr. Clarke — " Governor " he used to be called when 
administering squatter-law on the islands — I knew very well in 
the year 1835. He then lived at Pendleton, in Niagara county, 
on the Erie canal, where he had the reputation of a good citizen. 
I asked him about his residence and administration at Grand 
Island. He evidently disliked to talk upon the subject, and 
waived it at every attempt I made to get a history of the affair, 
but acknowledged the fact of living there, and being somewhat 
a conspicuous man among the people. He was then perhaps 
fifty years of age, but whether now living or not, I am unable 
to say. So annoying had the squatters on the island become 
to the neighboring shores, by their frequent acts of outlawry, 
and their depredations on the valuable timber of the island, 
that the New ork State authorities took summary measures 
to remove them. An instance was related, that when a sheriff 
or constable, armed with a civil process, had landed there to 


arrest one of the squatters, several of them assembled, and 
treated both the officer and his authority with contempt; took 
his oars or paddles out of his boat, and set him adrift down 
the river, where he floated for some distance, until some one, 
touched by his distress, put out with another boat and took 
him over to the American shore. 

Immediately after this, in the year 1819, Sheriff Cronk, of 
this county (then Niagara), was clothed with a requisition from 
.the State authorities, to call out a company of the militia in 
and about Buffalo, to make a descent on the island, and rid it 
of the squatters. Colonel Benjamin Hodge (still living with 
us) then having the requisite military command, with a suffi- 
cient number of armed men, and accompanied by the sheriff, 
took boats from the ' Seeley Tavern," about three miles below- 
Black Rock, on the river shore — landed on the island — made 
its entire circuit — drove off every squatter, either on to the 
Canadian or American shores, and burned every dwelling and 
other building to the ground. Thus was established the au- 
thority and law of the State over Grand Island. A portion of 
these squatters, however, immediately returned; but, as they 
ceased cutting timber and held themselves amenable to the 
law, they were not again molested by State authority. They 
rebuilt their cabins, cultivated their little patches of clearing, 
and remained peaceable citizens, taking a little timber "on the 
sly," only; keeping a few cattle and pigs, and eking out a 
poor, but, to them, quite satisfactory subsistence. 

Grand Island, in .those early days of the Niagara frontier, in 
its grand and deep solitude, was a charming place for those 
•tvfio loved to range the woods, or float on the quiet pellucid 
waters of the noble river encircling it. From head to foot, 
along the shores, or in the deepest wilderness, on a still day, 
the roar of the Falls below was always heard, and along its 
westerly shore their ascending spray w,as always in sight. Men 
of thought and reflection loved occasionally to camp for days 
on its shores, and fish and hunt, as the mood for either recre- 


ation impelled them; and no wonder that the "loafing," desul- 
tory habits of the squatters found there a congenial dwelling- 
place. There were the serene sky, the clear waters, the vener- 
able trees — all in .quiet summer beauty, inviting to repose, to 
listlessness and laziness, so congenial to squatter and roving 
life. Who can blame the vagabonds for loving to live and 
harbor there! 

The woods abounded with deer; occasionally a bear, a wolf, 
or other large game worthy a hunter's elevated ambition, was 
found. Great numbers of raccoons, squirrels, and other small 
furry quadrupeds inhabited the woods, while myriads of ducks 
and other game-birds thronged the shores and waters in their 
proper season. The Indians from the Seneca and Tonawanda 
reservations, held annual hunts of days or weeks upon the 
island, and carried away canoe-loads of the choicest venison. 

The fishing, too, was magnificent. Tons of the finest muske- 
longe, yellow pike, sturgeon, black bass, pickerel, mullet and 
smaller fish were hauled up to the shore in seines in their sea- 
sons, or drawn out by the hook and line of an adroit angler. 
The hook-and-line fishing of the Niagara was nowhere excelled. 
No wonder such a paradise of hunters and sportsmen was 
sought and lived upon by those to whose habits steady labor 
was irksome. The warm, sunny nooks of "the clearings" 
produced every annual garden-fruit and vegetable of the cli- 
mate. Melons and other choice delicacies abounded with 
every one who had the industry to plant and cultivate them. 
Hunting parties would go down from Black Rock and Buffalo, 
for a week's recreation, and "drive" the woods for deer, while 
'"coons," squirrels, ducks, and other game were the continuous 
incidental trophies of their sport. So passed, for several years, 
the squatter and camp life of Grand Island. 

In the vear 1824. the State ordered a survey of the land into 
farm lots, and in t- .at year a party was fitted out for the pur- 
pose. A part of the work was done under the supervision of 
Silas I). Kellogg, in that year. But Mr. Kellogg sickened and 


died before the work was completed; and, early in the nex} 
year, James Tanner was commissioned, and finished the work. 

In this year (1825) an eventful history was about to open 
on the Niagara frontier. Those members of our Society who 
then lived here, in the relation of their reminiscences of that 
period, have been prone to mark it as an eventful year in 
three striking incidents relating to the history of Buffalo, viz: 
the visit of General La Fayette, the completion and opening of 
the Erie canal, and " the hanging of the three Thayers." They 
might have added to it another memorable or; urrence, not 
only to Buffalo, but to the Niagara frontier. Following the 
survey of Grand Island into farm-lots, for settlement, of which 
the State authorities gave notice in the public newspapers, an 
idea occurred to the late Major Mordecai Manuel Noah, a 
distinguished Israelite, of the city of New York, then editor of 
a prominent political journal, called The National Advocate, 
that Grand Island. would make a suitable asylum for the Jews 
of all nations, whereon they could establish a great city, and 
become emancipated from the Oppression bearing so heavily 
upon them in foreign countries. 

To understand this matter thoroughly, it is necessary to go 
somewhat into particulars 1 knew Major Noah well. Physi- 
cally, he was a man of lar_c muscular frame, rotund person, a 
benignant face, and most portly bearing. Although a native 
of the United States, the lineaments of his race were impressed 
upon his features with unmistakable character; and if the blood 
of the elder Patriarchs or David or Solomon flowed not in 
his veins, then both chronology and genealogy must be at fault. 
He was a Jew, thorough and accomplished. His manners 
were genial, his heart kind, and li is generous sympathies em- 
braced all Israel, even to the end of the earth. He was 
learned, too, not only in the Jewish and civil lav,, ut in the 
ways of the world at large, and particularly in the faith and 
politics of "Saint Tammany " and "tile lUuktail Party" of the 
State, of which his newspaper was the organ and chief e\- 


pounder in the city of New York. He was a Counselor at Law 
in our courts, had been Consul-General for the United States at 
the Kingdom of Tunis, on the coast of Barbary, — at the time 
he held it, a most responsible trust. Although a visionary, — as 
some would call him — and an enthusiast in his enterprises, he 
had won many friends among the Gentiles, who had adopted 
him into their political associations. He had warm attach- 
ments and few hates, and if the sharpness of his political 
attacks created, for the time, a personal rancor in the breasts of 
his opponents, his genial, frank, childlike ingenuousness healed 
it all at the first opportunity. He was a pundit in Hebrew law, 
traditions and customs. " To the manner born," he was loyal 
to his religion; and no argument or sophistry could swerve 
him from his fidelity, or uproot his hereditary faith. My friend 
and neighbor, William A. Bird, Esq., has related to me the 
following anecdote: Many years ago, when his mother, the late 
Mrs. Eunice Porter Bird Pawling, resided at Troy, New York, a 
society was formed, auxiliary to one organized in the city of New 
York, for the purpose of christianizing the Jews in all parts of the 
world. Mrs. Pawling, an energetic doer of good works, in the 
then infant city of her residence, was applied to for her co- 
operation in that novel benefaction. She had her own doubts, 
both of its utility and success, of which results have proved the 
correctness. But, determined to act understandingly, she wrote 
a letter to Major Noah, asking his views on so important a 
subject. He replied in a letter, elaborately setting forth the 
principles, the faith, and the policy of the Jewish people, their 
ancient hereditary traditions, their venerable history, their hope 
of a coming Messiah; and concluded by expressing the proba- 
bility that the modern Gentiles would sooner be converted to 
the Jewish faith, than that the Jews would be converted to 

Major Noah — as I observed, a visional - )* somewhat, and an 
enthusiast altogether — made two grand mistakes in his plan. 
In the first place, he had no power or authority over his people; 


and, in the next, he was utterly mistaken in their aptitude for 
the new calling he proposed them to fulfill. But he went on. 
He induced his friend, the late Samuel Leggett, of New York, 
to make a purchase of twenty-five hundred and fifty-five acres, 
partly at the head of Grand Island, and partly at its center, oppo- 
site Tonawanda, at the entrance of the Erie canal into the Niag- 
ara river. Either or both of those localities were favorable for 
building a city. These two tracts he thought sufficient for a set- 
tlement of his J ewish brethren; which, if successful, would result 
in all the lands of the island falling into their hands. Nor, on a 
fairly supposititious ground — presuming the Jews, in business 
affairs, to be like the Gentiles — were his theories so much mis- 
taken. The canal, opening a new avenue to the great western 
world, from Lake Erie to the ultima tliule of civilization at that 
day, was about to be completed. The Lakes had no extensive 
commerce. Capital was unknown as a commercial power in 
Western New York. The Jews had untold wealth, ready to be 
converted into active and profitable investment. Tonawanda, 
in common with Black Rock and Buffalo, with a perfect and 
capacious natural harbor, was one of the western termini of the 
Erie canal, and at the foot of the commerce of the western 
lakes. With sufficient steam-power, every sail craft and steam- 
boat on the Lakes could reach Grand Island and Tonawanda, 
discharge into, and take on their cargoes from canal -boats, and 
by their ample means thus command the western trade. Buffalo 
and Black Rock, although up to that time the chief. recipients 
of the lake commerce, lacking moneyed capital, would not be 
able to compete with the energy and abundant resources of 
tht- proposed commercial cities to be established on Grand 
Island and at Tonawanda, and they must yield to the rivalry 
of the Jews. Such was Major Noah's theory, and such his 
plans. Mr. Leggett's co-operation, with abundant means for 
the land purchase, he had already secured. Through the col- 
umns of his own widely circulating National Advocate he 
promulgated his plan, and by the time the sale oi the Grand 


Island lots was to be made at the State Land Office in Albany, 
other parties of capitalists had concluded to take a venture in 
the speculation. 

The sale took place. Mr. Leggett purchased one thousand 
and twenty acres at the head of the island, at the cost of seven 
thousand two hundred dollars, and fifteen hundred and thirty 
five acres along the river in a compact body, above, opposite, 
and below Tonawanda, at the price of nine thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-five dollars; being about fifty per cent. 
above the average of what the whole body of land sold at per 
acre, — that is to say: the whole seventeen thousand three hun- 
dred and eighty-one acres sold for seventy-six thousand two 
hundred and thirty dollars; being an average, including Mr. 
Leggett's purchase, of about four "dollars and thirty-eight cents 
per acre. 

Next to Leggett, Messrs. John B. Yates and Archibald Mc- 
Intyre, then proprietors, by purchase from the State, of the 
vast system of lotteries, embracing those for the benefit of 
Union College, and other elemosynary purposes — gambling in 
lotteries for the benefit of colleges and churches was thought 
to be a moral instrument in those days — purchased through 
other parties a large amount of the land, and "Peter Smith, of 
Peterboro" (living, however, at Schenectady, — and the most 
extensive land speculator in the state, — father of the present 
Gerrit Smith) took a large share of the remainder. To sum 
up, briefly, the result of the sale of the Grand Island lands: 
Leggett and Yates and Mclntyre complied with the stipulated 
terms of the sale, paid over to the State their one-eighth of the 
purchase-money, and gave their bonds for the remainder: 
while Smith — wary in land-purchasing practice, <v//<v/ the State 
of Neti* York was the seller — did no such thing. He paid his 
one-eighth of the purchase-money down, as did the others, but 
neglected to give his (>onJ for payment of the balance. The con- 
sequence was, when the eclat of Noah's Ararat subsided, and 
his scheme proved a failure, the land went down in value, and 


Smith forfeited his first payment, and the lots fell back to the 
State. But on a lower re-appraisal by the State some years 
afterwards, Smith again bought at less than half the price at 
which he originally purchased, made his one-eighth payment 
again, and gave his bond as required; thus pocketing, by his 
future sale of the property, over twenty thousand dollars in the 

All this, however, aside from Mr. Leggett's purchase for the 
benefit of Major Noah, has nothing to do with our main his- 
tory, and is only given as an occurrence of the times. 

Major Noah, now secure in the 'possession of a nucleus for 
his coveted "City of Refuge for the Jews," addressed himself 
to its foundation and dedication. He had heralded his inten- 
tions through the columns of his National Advocate. His co- 
temporaries of the press ridiculed his scheme, and predicted 
its failure; yet, true to his original purpose, he determined to 
carry it through. Wise Jews around him shook their heads in 
doubt of his ability to effect his plans, and withheld from him 
their support. .But, nothing daunted, he ventured it unaided, 
and almost alone. By the aid of an indomitable friend, and 
equally enthusiastic co-laborer, Mr. A. B. Siexas, of New York, 
he made due preparations; and, late in the month of August, 
in the year 1S25, with robes of office and insignia of rank 
securely packed, they left the city of New York for Buffalo. 
He was a stranger in our then little village of twenty-five hun- 
dred people, and could rely for countenance and aid only on 
his old friend, the late Isaac S. Smith, then residing here* whom 
he had known abroad while in his consulate at Tunis. In Mr. 
Smith, however, he found a ready assistant in his plans. Major 
Noah, with his friend Siexas, arrived in Buffalo in the last days 
of August. He had got prepared a stone which was to be "the 
chief of the corner," with proper inscription and of ample 
dimensions for the occasion. This *>tone was obtained from 
the Cleveland. Ohio, sandstone quarries. The inscription, writ- 
ten by Major Noah, was cut by the late Seth Chapin o( Buffalo. 


As, on examination when arriving here, he could not well 
get to Grand Island to locate and establish his city, it was con- 
cluded .to lay: the corner-stone in the Episcopal church of the 
village, then under the rectorship of the Rev. Addison Searle. 
As this strange and remarkable proceeding, and the novel act of 
laying a foundation for a Jewish city, with its imposing rites 
and formulae, its regal pomp and Jewish ceremony, in a Chris- 
tian Episcopal chtirch, with the aid of its authorized rector, 
may strike the present generation with surprise, a word or two 
may be said of the transaction. 

The Rev. Mr. Searle was, at that time, the officiating cler- 
gyman in the little church of St. Paul's, in the village of Buf- 
falo, and had been placed there as a missionary by the late 
wise and excellent Bishop Hobart. He held a government 
commission as chaplain of the United States, and had been 
granted a some years', furlough from active duty. He had 
been on foreign cruises, — had coasted the Mediterranean, and 
spent months in the chief cities of its classic shores, and visited 
the beautiful Greek Island of Scio, a few weeks after the burn- 
ing of its towns and the massacre of its people by the Turks, 
in 1822. He was an accomplished and genial man, of com- 
manding person and portly mien; his manners were bland, and 
his address courtly. "Whether he had made the acquaintance 
of Major Noah abroad or in New York, or whether he first 
met him on this occasion at Buffalo, I know not; but their in- 
tercourse here was cordial and friendly. 

On the second day of September, 1825, the imposing cere- 
mony of laying the corner-stone of the city of Ararat, to be 
built on Grand Island, took place; and, as a full account of 
the doings of the day. written by Major Noah himself, was 
published at the time in The Buffalo Patriot, Extra, I take 
tlie liberty of repeating them from that paper: 

"It was known, at the sale of that beautiful and valuable tract called 
(iraml Island, a few mile* below this port, in the Niagara river, that it was 
purchased, in part, by the friends of Major Noah of New York, avowetlly to 


offer it as an asylum for his brethren of the Jewish persuasion, who, in the 
other parts of the world, are much oppressed; and it was likewise known 
that it was intended to erect upon the island a city called Ararat. We 
are gratified to perceive, by the documents in this day's Extra, that coupled 
with this colonization is a Declaration of Independence, and the revival of 
the Jewish government under the protection of the United States, — after the 
dispersion of that ancient and wealthy people for nearly two thousand years, — 
and the appointment of Mr. Noah as first Judge. It was intended, pursuant 
to the public notice, to celebrate the event on the island; and a flag-staff was 
erected for the Grand Standard of Israel, and other arrangements made; but 
it was discovered. that a sufficient number of boats could not be procured in 
time to convey all those to the island who were desirous of witnessing the 
ceremony, and the celebration took place this day in the village, which was 
both interesting and impressive. At dawn of day, a salute was fired in 
front of the Court House, and from the terrace facing the lake. At ten 
o'clock, the masonic and military companies assembled in front of the 
Lodge, and at eleven the line of procession was formed as follows: 


Grand Marshal, Col. Potter, on horseback. 


; Military. 


Civil Officers. 

United States Officers. 

State Officers in Uniform. 

President and Trustees of the Corporation. 



Entered Apprentices. 

Fellow Crafts. 

Master Mason<. 

Senior and Junior Deacons. 

Secretary and Treasurer. 

Senior and Junior Wardens. 

Masters of Lodges. 

* Past Masters; 

Rev. Clergy. 

Stewards, with corn, wine ami oil. 

i Principal Architect, ) 

Globe.- with square, level -Globe. 

( ami plumb. \ 


Square and Compass, borne by a Master Mason. 

The Judge of Israel, 

In black, wearing the judicial robes of crimson -ilk. trimmed with 

err** : "j ami a richly embossed golden medal suspended 

from the net k. 

A Master Mason. 

Royal Arch Ma>ons. 

KnL'hl* Temokir. 


"On arriving at the church door, the troops opened to the right and left 
and the proce>sion entered the aisles, the hand playing the Grand March 
from Judas Maccal-eus. The full-toned organ commenced its swelling 
notes, performing the Jubilate. On the communion-table lay the corner- 
stone, with the following inscription (the Hebrew is from Dent., vi., 4): 

' -pa *H 
A City of Refuge for the Jews, 
Founded by Mordlcai Manuel Noah, in the Month Tizri 

Se/t. 1825 & in the 50th year of American Independence. 

" On the stone lay the silver cups with wine, corn and oil. 

" The ceremonies commenced by the Morning Service, read emphatically 
by the Rev. Mr. Searle of the Episcopal chinch. "Before Jehovah's awful 
Throne," was sung by the choir to the tune of Old Hundred. — Morning 
Prayer. — First Lesson from Jeremiah, xxxi. — Second Lesson, Zeph. iii. S. 
Psalms for the occasion, xcvii., xcviii., xcix., c. ; Ps. exxvii. in verse. — Ante- 
Communion Service. — Psalm in Hebrew. — Benediction. 

" Mr. Noah rose and pronounced a discourse, or rather delivered a speech, 
announcing the re-organization of the Jewish government, and going through 
a detail of many points of intense interest, to which a crowded auditor)- lis- 
tened with profound attention. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the 
procession returned to the Lodge, and the Masonic brethren and the Military 
repaired to the Eagle Tavern and partook of refreshments. The church 
was rilled with ladies, and the whole ceremony was impressive and unique. 
A grand salute of twenty-four guns was fired by the Artillery, and the band 
played a number of patriotic airs. 

"We learn that a vast concourse assembled at Tonawanda, expecting that 
the ceremonies would be at Grand Island. Many of them came up in car- 
riages, in time to hear the Inaugural speech. The following is the Procla- 
mation, which will be read with great attention and interest. A liner day and 
more general satisfaction has not been known on any similar occasion. 

" Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God to manifest to his chosen people 
the approach of that period, when, in fulfillment of the promises made to 
the racfi of Jacob, and as a reward for their pious constancy and triumphant 
fidelity, they are to be gathered from the four quarters oi the globe, and to 
resume their rank and character among the governments of the 
Ami, Jl'hereas, the peace which now prevails among civilized nations, the 
progress of learning throughout the world, ami the general spirit of liberality 
and toleration which e'* : >ts, together with other changes favorable to light 
and to liberty, mark, in an especial manner, the approach of that time, when 
'peace on earth and good will to man,' are to prevail with a benign and 
extended influence, and the ancient people of Clod, the first to proclaim his 


unity and omnipotence, are to be restored to their inheritance, and enjoy 
the rights of a sovereign, independent people: Therefore, I, Mordecai 
Manuel Noah, Citizen of the United States of America, late Consul of said 
States for the City and Kingdom of Tunis, High Sheriff of New York, Coun- 
selor at Law, and, by the grace of God, Governor and Judge of Israel, have 
issued this my Proclamation, announcing to the Jews throughout the world, 
that an asylum is prepared and hereby offered to them, where they can enjoy 
that peace, comfort and happiness, which have been denied them through 
the intolerance and misgovernment of former ages. An asylum in a free 
and powerful country, where ample protection is secured to their persons, 
their property, and religious rights; an asylum in a country remarkable for 
its vast resources, the richness of its soil, and the salubrity of its climate: 
where industry is encouraged, education promoted, and good faith rewarded. 
4 A land of milk and honey,-' where Israel may repose in peace, under his 
'vine and fig tree;' and where our people may so familiarize themselves 
with the science of government and the lights of learning and civilization, 
as may qualify them for that great and final restoration to their ancient heri- 
tage, which the times so powerfully indicate. 

" The asylum referred to is in the State of New York; the greatest State in 
the American confederacy. New York contains forty-three thousand two 
hundred and fourteen square miles; divided into fifty-five counties, and hav- 
ing six hundred and eighty-seven post-towns and cities, containing one mil- 
lion five hundred thousand inhabitants, together with six million acres of 
cultivated land, improvements in agriculture and manufactures, in trade and 
commerce, which include a valuation of three hundred millions of dollars of 
taxable property. One hundred and fifty thousand militia, armed and 
equipped; a constitution founded upon an equality of rights, having no test- 
oaths, and recognizing no religious distinctions, and seven thousand free- 
schools and colleges, affording the blessings of education to four hundred 
thousand children. Such is the great and increasing State to which the emi- 
gration of the Jews is^directed. 

" The desired spot in the State of New York to which I hereby invite my 
beloved people throughout the world, in common with tho.-e of every reli- 
gious denomination, is called Grand Island, and on which 1 shall lay the 
foundation of a City of Refuge, to be called ARARAT. 

"Grand Island in the Niagara river, i^ bounded by Ontario on the north, 
and Erie on the south, and within a few miles of each of tho>e great com- 
mercial lakes. The island is nearly twelve miles in length, and varying 
from three to ,ven miles in breadth, and obtains upwards of seventeen 
thousand acres of remarkably rich and fertile land. Lake Erie is about two 
hundred and seventy miles in length, and borders on the States oi \^w 


York, Pennsylvania and Ohio: and, westwardly, by the possessions of our 
friends and neighbors, the British subjects of Upper Canada. This splendid 
lake unites itself, by means of navigable rivers, with Lakes St. Clair, Huron. 
Michigan and Superior, embracing a lake shore of nearly three thousand 
miles; and by short canals those vast sheets of water will be connected with 
the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, thereby establishing a great and valuable 
internal trade to Nev Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Ontario, on 
the north, is one hundred and ninety miles in length, v and empties into the 
St. Lawrence; which, passing through the Province of Lower Canada, carries 
the commerce of Quebec and Montreal to the Atlantic Ocean. 

" Thus fortified to the right and left by the extensive commercial resources 
of the Great Lakes and their tributary streams, within four miles of the 
sublime Falls of Niagara, affording the greatest water-power in the world 
for manufacturing purposes, — directly opposite the mouth of the Grand 
Canal of three hundred and sixty miles inland navigation to the Hudson 
river and city of New York, — having the fur trade of Upper Canada to the 
west, and also of the great territories towards the Rocky Mountains and the 
Pacific Ocean; likewise the trade of the Western States of America, — Grand 
Island may be considered as surrounded by every commercial, manufacturing 
and agricultural advantage, and from its location is pre-eminently calculated 
to become, in time, the greatest trading and commercial depot in the new 
and better world. To men of worth and industry it has every substantial 
attraction: the capitalist will be enabled to employ his resources with un- 
doubted profit, and the merchant cannot fail to reap the reward of enterpri>e 
in a great and growing republic; but to the industrious mechanic, manufac- 
turer and agrieuUuri-r, it holds forth great and improving advantages. 

iJeprived, as our people have been for centuries, of a right in the soil, they 
will learn, with peculiar satisfaction, that here they can till the land, reap the 
harvest, and raise the flocks which are unquestionably their own; and, in the 
full and unmolested enjoyment of their religious rights, and of every civil 
immunity, together with peace and plenty, they can lift up their voice in 
gratitude to Him who sustained our fathers in the wilderness, ami brought 
us in triumph out of the land of Egypt; who assigned to us the safe-keeping 
of his oracles, v ho proclaimed us his people, and who has ever walked before 
us like a 'cloud by day, and a pillar of hie by night.' 

"In His name do I revive, renew and re-establish the government of the 
Jewish Nation, under the auspices and protection of the constitution ami 
laws of the United States v c America; confirming and perpetuating all our 
rights and privileges, — our name, our rank, and our [.<bwer among the nations 
of the earth, — as they existed and were recognized under the government of 
the JUDGES. And I hereby enjoin it upon all our pious and \ enerable Rabbis, 


our Presidents and Elders of Synagogues, Chiefs of Colleges, and brethren 
in authority throughout the world, to circulate and make known this my 
Proclamation, and give to it full publicity, credence and effect. 

"It is my will that a census of the Jews throughout the world be taken, 
and returns of persons, together with their age and occupation, be registered in 
the archives of the Synagogues where they are accustomed to worship, desig- 
nating such, in particular, as have been and are distinguished in the useful 
arts, in science, or in knowledge. 

"Those of our people who, from age, local attachment, or from any other 
cause, prefer remaining in the several parts of the world which they now 
respectively inhabit, and who are treated with liberality by the public author- 
ities, are permitted to do so, ana are specially recommended to be faithful 
to the governments which protect them. It is, however, expected, that they 
will aid and encourage the emigration of the young and enterprising, and 
endeavor to send to this country such, as will add to our national strength 
and character, by their industry, honor and patriotism. 

"Those Jews who are in the military employment of the different sover- 
eigns of Europe, are enjoined to keep in their ranks until further orders, and 
conduct themselves with bravery and fidelity. 

"I command that a strict neutrality be observed in the pending wars 
between the Greeks and the Turks, enjoined by considerations of safety to- 
wards a numerous population of Jews now under the oppressive dominion of 
the Ottoman Porte. 

" The annual gifts which, for many centuries, have been afforded to our 
pious brethren in our Holy City of Jerusalem (to which may God speedily 
restore us), are to continue with unabated liberality; our seminaries of learn- 
ing and institutions of charity in every part of the world are to be in- 
creased, in order that wisdom and virtue may permanently prevail among 
the chosen people. 

" I abolish forever polygamy among the Jews, which, without religious war- 
rant, still exists in Asia and Africa. I prohibit marriages or sziviiiij Kedu- 
chim without both parties are of a suitable age, and can read and write the 
language of the country which they respectively inhabit, and which I trust 
will en>ure for their offspring the blessings of education, and, probably, the 
lights of science. 

" Prayers shall forever be >aid in the Hebrew language; but it it is recom- 
mended that occasional discourses on the principles of the Jewish faith and 
the doctrines of morality generally, be delivered in the language of the coun- 
try; together with Mich reforms, which, without departing from the ancient 
faith, may add greater solemnity to our worship, 

"The Caraite and Samaritan Jew-., together with the black Jews vi India 

THE CI T V OF A RA RA T. 3 2 1 

and Africa, and likewise those in Cochin China, and the sect on the coast of 
Malabar, are entitled to an equality of rights and religious privileges, as are 

all who may partake of the great Covenant, and obey and respect the Mosai- 
cal laws. 

" The Indians of the American continent, in their admitted Asiatic origin, — 
in their worship of one Cod, — in their dialect and language, — in their .sacri- 
fices, marriages, divorces, burials, fastings, purifications, punishments, cities of 
refuge, division of tribes, — in their High Priests, — in their wars and in 
-their victories, being, in all probability, the descendants of the lost tribes of 
Israel, wnic'iT were carried captive by the King of Assyria, measures will be 
adopted to make them sensible of their origin, to cultivate their minds, soften 
their condition and finally re-unite them with their brethren the chosen people. 

" A capitation tax of three shekels in- silver j per annum, or one Spanish 
dollar, is hereby levied upon each Jew throughout the world, to be collected 
by the Treasurers of the different congregations, for the purpose of defray- 
ing the various expenses of re-organizing the government, of aiding emi- 
grants in the purchase of agricultural implements, providing for their imme- 
diate wants and comforts, and assisting their families in making their first 
settlements; together with such free-will offerings as may be generously 
made in the furtherance of the laudable objects connected with the restor- 
ation of the people and the glory of the Jewish nation. A Judge of Israel 
shall be chosen once in every four years by the Consistory at Paris, at which 
time proxies from every congregation shall be received. 

" 1 do hereby name as Commissioners, the most learned and pious Abra- 
ham de Cologna, Knight of the Iron Crown of Loinbardy, Grand Rabbi of the 
Jews, and President of the Con-btory at Paris; likewise the Grand Rabbi 
Andrade of bordeaux; and also our learned and esteemed Grand Rabbis of 
the German and Portugal Jews, in London, Rabbis Herschelland Mendola; 
together w ith the Honorable Aaron Nunez Cardo/a, of Gibraltar, Abraham 
Busnae, of Leghorn, Benjamin Gradis, of Bordeaux, Dr. K. Cans and Pro- 
fessor Zunt/, of Berlin, and Dr. Leo Woolf of Hamburgh; to aid ami assist 
in carrying into effect the provisions of this my prorlamation, with powers 
to appoint the necessary agents in the several parts of the world, and to estab- 
lish Emigration societies, in order that the Jews may be concentrated and 
capacitated to act as a distinct body, having at the head of each kingdom 
or republic such presiding officers as I shall upon their recommendation 
appoint. Instructions '• these my Commissioner*, shall be forthwith trans- 
mitted; and a more enlarged and general view of plan, motives ami objects 
will be detailed in the address to the nation. The Conslstciry at Paris i^ 
herelij authorized and empowered to name three discreet persons *A' com 


petent abilities, to visit the United States, and make such report to the 
nation as the actual condition of this country shall warrant. 

" I do appoint Roshodes Adar, February 7th, 1S26, to be observed with suit- 
able demonstrations as a day of Thanksgiving to the Lord God of Israel, for 
the manifold blessings and signal protection which he has deigned to extend 
to his people, and in order that on that great occasion our prayers may be 
offered for the continuance of his divine mercy and the fulfillment of all the 
promises and pledges made to the race of Jacob. 

"I recommend peace and union among ns; charity and good-will to all; 
toleration and liberality to our brethren of every religious denomination, en- 
joined by the mild and just precepts of our holy religion; honor and good 
faith in the fulfillment of all our contracts; together with temperance, 
" economy and industry in our habits. 

" I humbly intreat to be remembered in your prayers; and, lastly and most 
earnestly, I do enjoin you to ' Keep the charge of the Lord thy Clod, to walk 
in his ways, to keep his statutes and his commandments and his judgments 
and his testimonies, as it is written in the laws of Moses, that thou mayest 
prosper in all thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.' 

"Given at Buffalo, in the State of New York, this second day of Tizri, in 
the year of the World, 55S6, corresponding with the fifteenth day of Septem- 
ber, 1S25, and in the fiftieth year of American Independence. 
" By the Judge, 

"A. B. Sikxas, 

Secretary pr» tan." 

The day succeeding the ceremonies, — the "corn and wine 
and oil," and "the Proclamation," — the newly constituted Judge 
in Israel issued another address (also printed in the Buffalo 
Patriot x Extra), setting forth the design of the new city, and 
invoking the aid and countenance of his brethren abroad, in 
contributing of their .substance and influence to its uprising 
and population. Thus, with due benediction, ended the cere- 
monial — the first of its kind known in this country — of the cor- 
ner-stone of an anticipated Hebrew, or any other city, being- 
laid on the communion-table of a Christian church! 

The ceremonial, with its procession, "masonic and military," 
its pomp ai*d magnificence, passed away. Major Noah, a day 
or two afterwards, departed for his home in New York; the 
"corner-stone" was taken from the audience-chamber of the 

7 'HE CITY OF A HA RAT. 323 

church, and deposited against its rear wall, outside; and the 
great prospective city of Ararat, with its splendid predictions 
and promises, vanished, "and, like an insubstantial pageant 
faded, — left not a rack behind." 

This was, in fact, the whole affair. The foreign Rabbis de- 
nounced Noah and his entire scheme. He had levied taxes 
of sundry "shekels"- on all the Jewish tribes of the world; as- 
sumed supreme jurisdiction over their emigration to America, 
and-BOiight to control their destinies afterwards. But, having 
no confidence in his plans or financial management, the Ameri- 
can Jews, even, repudiated his proceedings; and, after a storm 
of ridicule heaped on his presumptuous head, the whole thing 
died away, and passed among the other thousand-and-one ab- 
surdities of other character which had preceded it. Noah, 
however, with his ever-ready wit, and newspaper at hand, re- 
plied to all the jeers and flings in good humor, and lost none of 
the prestige of his character and position, either politically or 
morally. He was known to be eccentric in many tilings, and 
this was put down as the climax of his eccentricities. Poor in 
money, always, he had no influence in financial circles, yet he 
was a "power" in the State. Some years after his Ararat 
affair he held the office of Judge in one of the criminal city 
courts of New York, with decided acceptance to the public, — 
married a wealthy Jewess of high respectability, — reared a 
family, and died some ten or a dozen years ago in New York, 
lamented by those who best knew him, as a kind and generous 
man. * 

The subsequent history of the corner-stone which we have 
described, is imperfectly known. It is generally supposed, by 
those who have heard of the matter at all, that Ararat Mas 
actually founded on Grand Island, opposite Tonawanda; and, 
some thirty years ago, accounts were frequently published by 
tourists and in t 1- j newspapers, that the stone aforesaid stood, 
encased in a monument, on the actual .spot selected by Noah 
for the building oi his city. That the stone did so stand, in .a 

brick inoniiincui .1 < .1 .ml I ...... 

not on ili«: ike &( 
it came aboul wi 

h.nin^ be ome ... 

saw the atone 

little church oi jn-j-.t 

there from the 


In Efe - tii (id 


Peter Smith, 
of a compa 
^m I had 
amour. uiftak, Tkf4flP- 

BEL The - " Uu. .!;!.•. 


to cut and :onve 

:.--_- . .-. ;tf^ 

:vcra • ■ . . ... 

- - : 

- Lay .1 

: " : " ■ . .. . 

En ans 1 -.: 

- - ] 



Island, and give it an honorable position. He complied with 
my request, and I removed it to the new settlement on the 
island. A decent architectural structure of brick was erected, 
standing about fourteen feet high and six feet square. A niche 
was made in the front, facing the river, in which the stone was 
placed; and a comely roof, as a top finish, put over it. A steam 
passenger-boat was running for several years, daily, through 
the summer, between Buffalo and the Falls of Niagara, touching 
each way at Whitehaven, the little Grand Island settlement; 
and'rnany people went on shore to see the monument, which 
told a false history. Artists and tourists sketched the homely 
little structure, and copied the inscription on the stone; and the 
next year a Guide Book to the Falls of Niagara, issued in 
Buffalo by a young man named Ferris, I believe, had the 
monument, with the "Corner-stone of the Jewish City of Ara- 
rat," well engraved and described, conspicuous in its pages. 
That, of course, was sufficient authority for the general belief 
that the City of Ararat was founded on that spot by Mordecai 
Manuel Xoah. 

The mill was taken 'down about the year 1850; and the 
monument becoming time-worn and dilapidated, was taken 
down also. We had no Historical Society in Buffalo then, and 
although the stone was my property, I had become careless of 
its possession; and, soon afterwards, Mr. Wallace Baxter, who 
owned a farm a couple of miles above Whitehaven on the 
river shore, took the stone and carried it to his place. By this 
removal, the farm of Mr. Baxter — taking the stone as authority 
— became as" much the site of Ararat as Whitehaven had been. 
In the year 1864. the late Mr. Charles II. Waite, of this city, 
opened a watering-place — "Sheenwater " — on the opposite, or 
Canadian side of the island, and Mr. Baxter carried the stone 
over there for the delectation of the visitors who congregated 
to that resort, — thus establishing another rbcality of the re- 
nowned Ararat. Mr. Waite's nbuse having burned a few months 
after the stone was removed there* he carefully placed it in an 


out-house on the premises, where it remained until the last 
summer, when I obtained his leave to take it again into my 
possession, which I did, and deposited it on my farm at the 
head of Grand Island, one of the original tracts of land which 
Mr. Leggett had purchased for Major Noah. There, too. had 
the traveling public seen it, might have been located another 
site for the Hebrew city. A short time afterwards I had the 
stone taken to my premises on Niagara street, in this city; the 
same to which General Porter, then owning them, had re- 
y moved it, previous to the year 1834. A few weeks later it 
was again — and, I trust, finally — removed, and, on the second 
day of January, in the year 1866, deposited in the official 
room of the Buffalo Historical Society, where it is duly hon- 
ored with a conspicuous position against its eastern wall; 
leaving the Hebrew "City of Ararat" a myth — never having 
existence, save in the prurient imagination of its projector, a 
record of which the tablet bears. 

Like the dove which went out from the ark of his great 
patriarchal progenitor, the stone of the later Noah has come 
back to its domical, not in the ark, but to the city which, in 
its embryo existence, first gave it shelter and protection; and, 
we trust, — unlike the dove, — to again go out no more. Just 
forty years from its exodus from the communion-table of the 
church of St. Paul, like the Children of ancient Israel, has 
this eventful stone — meantime crossing, not the parted waters 
of the Red Sea, but the transparent waters of the Niagara, 
resting by the wayside, and traveling through the wilderness 
in circuitous wanderings — found its home in the rooms of the 
Buffalo Historical Society. 

Thus ends the strange, eventful history of Major Noah, his 
Hebrew city and its corner-stone. Although that portion of 
the public, away from Buffalo, who ever heard anything of this 
modern Ararat, have believed, since t!*e year 1825, that Major 
Noah ? .ually purchased Grand Island, ami founded his city, 
and laid his corner-stone upon it, the fact is, that he never 


owned an acre of its land, nor founded the city, nor laid a 
corner-stone there. Nor have I been able, after diligent in- 
quiry, to ascertain that he ever set foot on the island. I have 
heard sundry traditions, lately, of his going there at the time 
he visited Buffalo in the year 1825. All these were contradic- 
tory, and partially guess-work; no one, so far as I have ascer- 
tained, ever saw him there. Thus, that point may be con- 
sidered as definitely settled. 

The story of ''Ararat" will hardly be complete without the 
account of a queer old Irishman named Denison, who, with his 
famtfy, about the year 1820, had "squatted" on one of Mr. 
Leggett's lots, on the head of Grand Island, near the mouth of 
Beaver creek, — now comprising a part of the pleasant grounds 
of "Falconwood," — which I laid' out on the river shore as a 
watering-place, some years ago, and since disposed of to a 
company of gentlemen in this city. 

When Major Xoah came to Buffalo to found his city, the old 
gentleman hearing of it, and supposing he really owned the 
land, came up to Buffalo to see him. He told the Major that 
he lived on his land, and that he had invented a "perpetual 
motion;" and if he would let him occupy it for his lifetime, he 
would give him the right to use his invaluable mechanical 
power, which, beyond all doubt, would make his, the Major's, 
fortune. Xoah good-naturedly told him that he then had no 
time to investigate the merits of his discovery, but that he 
might continue to stay on the land, and when he had time to 
look into it, he would determine the matter. So it rested, and 
the credulous old man supposed, and so claimed, that from 
that time the land was to be his own. 

When I took possession of the island lands, as agent of the 
new proprietors, I told Denison that he must give me posses- 
sion of the ground he occupied; that I had no wish to drive 
him off forcibly, but would let him remain, without payment of 
rent, until lie CO 1 .1 find a home elsewhere within a reasonable 
time. But he was disposed to do no such thing. He had 



made a contract with Major Noah for his "perpetual motion," 
but was willing to allow me the same privilege that he had ex- 
tended to him, and insisted on its performance! Being some- 
what skeptical as to the utility of his "motion," I declined the 
proposition, but, to gratify him, would look at it. With a great 
deal of circumlocution in its description, he produced a little 
section of a piece of wood about four inches in diameter, cir- 
cular in form, flat on its sides, about one inch thick on one 
disc, and tapering to a quarter of an inch thick on the opposite 
disc, and a hole of half an inch thick through the center, 
through which he ran a stick on which it could revolve. 
Then he put the thick side of the disc vertically into a dish 
of water, and holding on to each end of the stick or jour- 
nal, the block forthwith revolved half way round out of 
the water, and letting the' thin edge take its place when it 
stopped — the thin edge in the water, and the thick one out. 
That was his "perpetual motion!" He declared his discovery 
complete; nor would he give it up, but insisted on retaining 
the land. After waiting a year or more, he would listen to no 
terms, and a suit' of ejectment was commenced against him in 
the Supreme Court. The late Thomas T. Sherwood defended 
him, brought his "motion" into court, talked to the jury as 
though he believed in it, and insisted on the fulfillment of the 
"contract," as he pleased to call it. It is needless to say that 
Denison lost his suit, and obstinately refused to leave the place 
until the sheriff forcibly put him out of possession, — at an ex- 
pense to the plaintiff of nearly two hundred dollars. 

As no patent for that notable invention was ever obtained. 
and some of the present proprietors of Falcon wood are exten- 
sively engaged in manufacturing, where motive power is costly 
to them, I will, at any time they wish it, with great pleasure, 
give them a model of the discovery. 




AkTOI YI'K. \V. J. RAKER, 111 I I. VI O, V. V 





I have undertaken to write for the Buffalo Historical So- 
ciety a sketch of the life and character of Orlando Allen. 
When it was first proposed to me, I accepted the task in the 
light of a grateful duty.' I loved, admired and revered the 
man. From the first, the magnetism of his nature attracted 
and held my sympathies. Besides, he shared my enthusiasm 
in a special field of research, which lias little popular attrac- 
tion. When that hasty consent was irrevocably given, I had 
time to reflect how ill-fitted I was to furnish a truthful portrait 
of the man — to give a just estimate of what he was, and what he 
did, and what influence he exerted upon the community among 
which lie lived and labored for more than half a century. 

The best that I could do in the time at my disposal, and labor- 
ing under the disadvantages at which 1 have hinted, is, with 
many misgivings, offered to you to-night, and I pray your most 
charitable judgment upon the manner in which I have executed 
the ta^k. • 

1 have had the aid of a considerable mass of manuscript 
penned l»v Mr. Allen, which he left, a priceless legacy, to his 

Jv 330 ORL A ND ALL EN. 

posterity and to this Society, which, I presume, is ultimately 
to become the custodian of them. Aside from this, the mem- 
ories of our older citizens are stored with racy, characteristic 
anecdotes of the man; and the difficulty under which I have 
labored, has been to determine the proper limitations of a 
paper, which, at best, can be expected to furnish but a sketchy 
outline of the features of its subject, rather than an elaborately 
wrought portrait. 

The progenitors of Mr. Allen were among the earliest settlers 
of New England. His grandparents, Gideon Allen and Let- 
tuce Curtess, migrated from the town of Adams in the state of 
Vermont, into New Hartford, Oneida county, New York, 
shortly after the close of the revolutionary war, bringing with 
them a family of hardy, Green Mountain youths — seven boys 
and one daughter. His mother's parents, Amos Lee and Anna 
Camp, came from Hartford county, Connecticut, into New 
Hartford about the same time, bringing with them three sons and 
four daughters, the youngest of whom, Sarah, was afterwards 
Mr. Allen's mother. Sarah Lee and EliAllen married in 1797. 

Orlando Allen,, the subject of this sketch, was born in New 
Hartford, according to the record in the old family Bible, on 
the tenth day of February, 1803. His father's family continued 
to reside in that place until the spring of 1820, when they re- 
moved to the village of Fredonia, Chautauqua county, Now 
York; but, during the previous year, Orlando had anticipated 
the hegira of the family, and had been sent to buffalo to study 
the science of medicine in the office of Doctor Cvrenius Chaj in, 
an early and life-long friend* of the family. It is not to be pre- 
sumed that, in the sfxteen years intervening between his birth 
and his induction into the mysteries of the medical art, as : . - 
by the redoubtable Doctor Chapin, Orlando had enjoyed many 
advantages of ed.ui ation. In truth, his opportunities oi lie- 
coming learned were exceeding nfcagij.'; but, to make amends 
for what he lacked in this particular, he possessed remarkably 
alert receptive faculties, .is wall as a fondness for reading, which 


went far to compensate for the want of educational training 
and discipline. 

Doctor Chapin had come westward in 1 801, to arrange for 
the reception of a small colony of immigrants, — Orlando Allen's 
father among the number, — but the embryo city and the virgin 
country surrounding it were in no condition to- offer them even 
the rudest hospitality. Doctor Chapin himself was forced to 
seek a temporary abode on the more civilized Canadian banks 
of the Niagara, where he sojourned for nearly three years, 
practicing his profession; but he removed to Buffalo some time 
in the year 1803. As soon as the surveyors employed by the 
Holland Land Company had mapped the wilderness at this 
point into inner and outer lots, and into streets and avenues, 
with formidable Dutch names, Doctor Chapin selected inner 
lot number fort}', at the northwest corner of Main and Swan 
streets, as his future abode. Weed's Block and another brick 
store adjoining it, — which latter was erected by Orlando 
Allen, — cover the Main street front of this lot, which extended 
to Erie street. I will here quote from Mr. Allen's unfinished 
autobiography a description of Doctor Chapin's office and its 

"At the time I came to live with Doctor Chapin, his duelling was on the 
no;!l,ca-t corner of Swan and Pearl street-,; his office was on the second frooi 
of a wooden one and one-half story building on the Main street front of his 
lot, near the worth line; this was a small building, originally a dwelling house, 
the first floor of which was at this time occupied by a Mr. George Keese as 
a drug store. John Wilkeson, Esq., then a lad of about my age, was the 
sole clerk in this store. 

"Our. office, as I have said, was in the second story, reached by outside 
stair> starting from the ground on the south side of the building, fismg ami 
winding around to the back end, through which was the door of the office. 
Immediately in the rear ^\ the store, and >ome fifteen or twenty feet from 
it. was a small frame barn, used for stabling the horse employed by the doctor 
in his professional ride-, together with a Bostoni gis^ cutler, etc. On the 
south of the store were some small one-story buildings, which occupied the 
remaining Main street front of the lot, with the exception of some six or eight 
feet left for a pa.^age-wav to the stairs leading to the office. These offices, 


or small buildings, rested upon the front foundation wall of Doctor Chapin's 
dwelling, which was burned when Buffalo was destroyed by the British, in 
December, 1S13. Behind them was a wide passage-way from Swan street to 
the barn which I have mentioned, large enough to form a very convenient and 
serviceable barn-yard. The office on the corner of Main and Swan streets 
was occupied by James Sheldon, E>q., the father of our present judge, Hon. 
James Sheldon. The one next north of it was occupied by Joseph W. Moul- 
ton, Esq., as a law office; the next one north, by J. Nash Bailey, Esq., a 
justice of the peace; and the remaining one, by the late James Sweeney, as a 
tailor's shop." 

Doctor Chapin had at this time a partner, Doctor Congdon, 
originally from Connecticut, and another student besides Or- 
lando Allen and Hiram Pratt, by the name of Wakelee. a fine, 
companionable young fellow, for whom Mr. Allen cherished 
feelings of warm affection. Doctor Chapin was, in truth, the 
most considerable personage in the village at this era. His 
gallant achievements and sacrifices in the second struggle for 
Independence, when he had exchanged his perilous drugs for 
the still deadlier 'implements of war, were fresh in every mem- 
ory; and his brusque but honest ways, practical benevolence 
and sturdy character, won for him a place in the hearts of the 
pioneers of this region. He was a large landed proprietor, too, 
— owning no less than five extensive farms — and his profes- 
sional services were sought throughout a vast region, lapping 
far over into the heart of Canada, and extending as far south 
as, Erie. When it is remembered that these visits were accom- 
plished on horseback, and that there were no macadam or 
plank roads in those days, the arduous nature of the doctor's 
professional duties will he ea>ier comprehended. The keeping 
"of the doctor's accounts, among other multiform duties, de- 
volved upon Orlando. Returning from his weary all-day's 
ride, the doctor, after partaking of some slight refreshment, 
and cleansing his apparel from the stains oi travel, would repair 
to the orifice, fill his comfortable pi]*' with tobacco, and sur- 
rounding himself with a cloud of fragrance, would tell off his 
professional calls and services, And the same would be jotud 


down into a book by the student. A formidable array of 
figures it would make, but, alas, no alchemy could transfuse 
the mass of these accounts into hard money or its equivalent. 
The country was wretchedly poor, and the good doctor must 
needs be content with what the gratitude of his richer patients 
impelled them to requite him. 

• It is not difficult to imagine what kind of a youth Orlando was 
at this period. Sprung from Puritan ancestry, there was still a 
dash of the cavalier in his composition; and the union of these 
opposite traits in one nature, made him the gallant, dauntless, 
hard-working and ingenuous lad that he was. There are, or 
were a few years ago, many well-attested legends current among 
the older class of our citizens, illustrating the love of adven- 
ture and heroic disregard of danger which characterized him at 
this period. 

It may be gravely questioned, whether the youthful Orlando 
was a diligent reader of the dozen or so of medical works 
which constituted his master's library. He had no strong predi- 
lection for the medical science. His genius was rather adminis- 
trative than contemplative; and, in a field like Buffalo, where so 
little had been done to subdue savage nature, and where there 
was yet so much to do, his joyous, healthful, manly spirit re- 
belled at confinement, and would do battle with the. difficulties 
around him. Accordingly, we soon find him relieving the doc- 
tor of a large portion of the labor and cares that lay outside of 
his professional duties. He kept the doctor's accounts, made 
his collections, superintended his farming operations, gathered 
and drew to the house such farm produce as the wants of the 
household required, and kept a vigilant eye on all the doctor's 
interests. Orlando did all this the more willingly, since the 
doctor had, from the first, generously assumed the whole expense 
of boarding and clothing the lad. without remuneration from 
his father. • 

It will be borne in mind, that, at this period, Buffalo was little 
more a rude hamlet, — that the forest-circle which eirded 


it was unbroken save by the silver clasp of Lake Erie. Out 
of this sunless barrier of woods, the red deer would occasion- 
ally emerge to crop the grass that stretched a carpet of verdure 
along the edge of the clearing. Often, in those days, the wood- 
land solitudes threw back on the listening settlement the echo 
of Miles Jones' riile, as it rang the death-knell of these wary 
and beautiful visitors. 

Society in the village then displayed that charming simplicity 
and equality which characterize pioneer settlements. The vir- 
tue of hospitality was universally practiced, and the hearts 
of the villagers were knit together by ties that sprang from 
their isolation and unity of interests. The good doctor's man- 
sion was the resort of all kinds of graceless vagabonds, who 
were never turned away naked or hungry. Aside from these 
random visitors a few strange characters quartered themselves 
in the doctor's habitation, as perennial boarders and lodgers, 
under the shallow pretense of rendering some helpful service 
in his household. Among them was a thin, long-legged Yankee, 
a mighty man at the trencher, but a living negation of the fabled 
thrift and industry of his race; an Irishman, sadly addicted 
to punch, but overflowing with that rollicking humor which 
gilds with sunshine the humblest pathway; and an oracular 
negro, known as "Old Jack," who never tired of recounting 
how he witnessed the throwing overboard of that historic tea 
in Boston harbor, and how, as a good stout lad, he saw the seven 
martyred patriots fall, beneath the tire of Major Pitcairn's 
soldiery, at the outbreak of the revolutionary war. 

Aside from the usual motley population of a frontier town, 
the village was skirted on one side by the hunting grounds of 
the Seneca and other Iroquois Indians, whose villages dotted 
the banks of Buffalo creek and its tributary streams. This 
ancient and warlike race, with the renowned Red Jacket at 
its head, still assumed sovereignty over a broad region of coun- 
try, and had abated little of the pride and truculcnce which 
had characterized the Six Nations when at the /enitlrof their 


power. Drunkenness and kindred vices, introduced by the 
pale-faces, had, however, begun their baleful work among them. 

During the first three years of his residence in Buffalo, young 
Allen witnessed what threatened to be a bloody collision be- 
tween this waning aboriginal power and the white authorities 
of Western New York. So-ongise, or Tommy Jemmy, armed 
with the unwritten decree of the Seneca Council, had put 
to death a squaw named Kauquatau, who had been convicted, 
by that tribunal, of witchcraft. The Indian executioner was 
arrested by process of law, and immured in the white man's 
dungeon. This invasion of their national prerogatives alarmed 
and incensed the haughty Senecas. The morning after his 
arrest, the common near the northeast corner of Main and 
Swan streets was covered with a multitude of armed and scowl- 
ing warriors. Among them was Sagoyewatha. or Red Jacket, 
who addressed them in a fervid speech, attacking the whites 
with fierce invective, and lashing the Indians into fury by his 
artful and fiery eloquence. A massacre seemed imminent, but 
just then the tall form of Captain Pollard was seen moving 
through the multitude. Commanding silence by a gesture, he 
urged the assembled warriors, in a temperate and eloquent 
speech, to disperse to their homes, and remain quiescent until 
an appeal to the white man's law and sense of justice should 
prove ineffectual. His voice was obeyed. The subsequent 
trial and acquittal of Tommy Jemmy were a triumph to Red 
Jacket; and a vindication of the assailed sovereignty of the 
Seneca Nation. 

Doctor Chapin was immensely popular with these ancient 
lords of the soil; for, aside from his prestige as a great medicine- 
man, his valorous exploits in the late war with England were 
known to them, and were a title to the red man's homage. As 
a proof of their liking, they bestowed upon him the monoply of 
their patronage, and dubbed him "Ah-ta-gis,« the doctor. Dr. 
Chapin, in treating his red patients, experienced great embar- 
rassment from his isjnorance of their langua&e, of which he was 


never able to master a sentence. He accordingly instructed 
Orlando, among his other duties, to make himself sufficiently 
acquainted with the Seneca dialect to qualify him for the office 
of interpreter. There is something mysterious and fascinating 
about these unwritten, aboriginal tongues; and Orlando prose- 
cuted the task of acquiring the Seneca with a diligence and zeal 
that overcame all obstacles, and were rewarded with a complete 
triumph. Thenceforward, in the absence of the great white med-, Orlando was constrained to prescribe for the minor 
ailments of these children of the woods, and waxed deft and 
bold in wielding the turnkeys and the thumb-screw lancet. 
But greatness in any field of human exertion is purchased at 
the price of many failures. Our hero's first essay with the 
lancet, a ragged-edged affair, — laid up Conjoekety in his cabin, 
opposite Farmer's Point, for three months, and nearly cost that 
mighty hunter his life. This unlucky misadventure entailed 
on Doctor Chapin.many a visit to Conjockety's wigwam; but 
Orlando was not chided by the doctor, nor did he lose the 
friendship of his Indian victim. 

The Indians delighted in being bled. They regarded it as a 
sovereign remedy, especially for the bad blood engendered by 
dissipation. They rarely came singly to have this operation per- 
formed, but in families and groups. On one occason, soon after 
the Conjoekety mishap, on a warm summer afternoon, a party 
'of nine natives repaired to the office and asked to be bled. 
The doctor was "over the hills and far away," and Orlando 
must needs act in his place. Seating the nine dusky patients 
on a bench which stood in a passage-way alongside the office, 
he bared and ligatured the arm of each individual, and then 
gallantly applied the lancet to each in turn. Opening a vein 
was a very small operation, but bandaging the bleeding mem- 
ber required care, and involved considerable delay. When all 
were bleeding finely, he commenced with the one first bled, and 
carefully enveloped his arm with the necessary wrappings. 
Before lie got through, however, the head of the column began 


to waver, the loss of blood was excessive, and the wounded 
sought the support of mother earth, in a state of insensibility. 
It required considerable exertion to resuscitate the sufferers, 
but this was achieved at length, and no irreparable damage was 
done. Mr. Allen had an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes of this 
description, which he would relate in terse, graphic language, 
and which his powers of mimicry and dramatic action rendered 
irresistible. But it must not be imagined that young Allen had 
an eye only to the humorous aspect of Indian character. He 
had a sensitive, warm heart, — the poetic insight that was quick 
to discern the pathos that lurked behind this incongruous mask. 
Whatever was strange, picturesque and noble in the character 
and habits of these children of the woods, at once arrested his 
attention. He recognized his brotherhood to them, and re- 
garded them with a strange, yearning interest, as a wronged and 
doomed people, soon to pass away forever from the earth. He 
eagerly sought to acquaint himself not only with their perish- 
ing language, but with their fading customs and traditions. 
Scattered among the Indians were a number of white captives — 
Indians in all but features and complexion — who had been torn 
from desolated hearths during the old French and revolution- 
ary wars. The narratives of the lives of these unfortunates 
outrival the creations of poetry am,l romance. At all times 
during Mr. Allen's boyhood days, the Indians were seen in 
greater numbers on the streets of Buffalo than the whites: but 
for a week during each year they congregated in large numbers 
to meet the United States Indian agent, Jasper Parrish, and the 
United States interpreter. Horatio Jones. Both of these gentle- 
men had been Indian captives, had been brought tip to manhood 
in Indian wigwams, and were, therefore, thoroughly conversant 
with the language, customs and character of the Iroquois. The 
occasion of these yearly meetings with the aborigines, the grave 
councils held with plumed and painted sachems, the distribu- 
tion of annuities and presents, diversified by Indian games, 
races and dances, gave a strange, picturesque aspect to village 


life, a half century ago. Young Allen made the acquaintance 
of the principal chiefs and warriors, as well as captives, and 
eagerly listened to the stories related by the latter, of their 
eventful lives. The store where the Indian goods were housed, 
and where Jones and Parrish, with the chiefs and head men of 
the Indians, naturally resorted, was situated a few doors above 
Doctor Chapin's office. Here Jones, who had not imbibed the 
Indian habit of taciturnity, but delighted in social converse, 
would while away hour after hour in relating reminiscences of 
the past. From his own lips Orlando heard the narrative of 
his capture and his experience among the Indians, which is 
not surpassed in romantic interest in this whole department 
of literature. Far into the morning, seated around a cheerful 
fire, and soothed by pipes of the fragrant weed, these sessions 
were held, until young Allen's memory became a store-house of 
information, now so rare and inaccessible. 

On one of these occasions, captive and captor, — the one in 
the pride of manhood, the other a bowed and wrinkled warrior, 
— suddenly confronted each other with silent, eager gaze, and 
then extended the grasp of amity over the dying lire. I will 
relate a single incident, culled from many which I have heard 
Mr. Allen relate with that rare colloquial grace and dramatic 
power that rendered his conversation so fascinating. 

Many of the captives were among the first-fruits of mission- 
ary, labors on the banks of the Buffalo creek. Among them 
was Thomas Armstrong, who served as interpreter to the mis- 
sionaries, in the little chapel on the reservation. He was a 
thoughtful, exemplar)' man, but, like all the captives resident 
among the Indians, was wedded to their manner of life, and 
resolved to live and die among them. He was captured in 
Pennsylvania during the revolutionary war, but was so young 
at the time that the incident affected his imagination like a 
vague and troubled dream. When h'e arrived at manhood, an 
irresistible longing seized him. to revisit the home of his child- 
hood and seek out his relatives, should any be living. He knew 


that his father's name was Thomas Armstrong, and some wan- 
derer from the region of the Susquehanna, when the captive 
had attained to manhood, brought the joyful tidings that Tho- 
mas had a sister still surviving there — the wife of an opulent 
farmer, the mother of blooming children, and the mistress of a 
happy home. With such information as he could glean from 
this stranger, the captive started out one morning from Buffalo 
creek, and, after a journey of several days' duration through an 
almost trackless wilderness, his eyes were greeted with the 
pleasant signs of civilization in the old settlements of Pennsyl- 
vania. He found with some difficulty the residence of his 
sister. With faltering steps and a throbbing heart he entered 
the house, and was greeted by a gentle, sweet-faced woman, who 
eyed him with compassion, but with a countenance which indi- 
cated no suspicion that the wild being before her was her long- 
lost brother. Armstrong took the chair that she proffered, 
without the power of uttering a word. She placed food before 
him, for he was haggard and almost famished, but the first 
morsel of bread nearly choked him. He could not eat, but 
watched with a yearning heart every motion of his sister as she 
caressed her children, or busied herself with her household 
duties. A spell was upon him, and he could not speak. He 
was but slightly acquainted with the English tongue, and he 
was dressed in the garb of an Indian. Would she acknowledge 
this wild man of the woods as her kindred, — her brother ? 
Would not the revelation bring distress and humiliation to a 
home so happy and so blessed ? His resolution was soon taken. 
With a simple gesture of thanks, and with a heart that was 
breaking, he left this hospitable roof without divulging his 
identity, and retraced his long and toilsome path to the Seneca 
village, on the banks of the Buffalo creek. The descendants 
of this captive at present reside on the Cattaraugus reservation, 
near Buffalo. The narratives of Jones' and -Parrish's experi- 
ences among the Indians, teem with similar incidents oi roman- 
tic and trauie interest. 


There is little doubt that the brave young novice, Orlando 
Allen, would ultimately have achieved distinction, had his heart 
been wedded to the healing art. 

It was the custom of the Indians to pierce one ear with 
sundry holes for the insertion of silver trinkets; and to slit 
the rim of the other, separating the skin from the cartilage 
the whole length, leaving it attached at the ends, and thus 
forming a long pendant loop, to which were attached gaily 
dyed birds' feathers, shells, and other ornaments. Xot unfre- 
quently, by accident, or in some affray, this loop would become 
broken, the ends dangling down to the shoulder. Quite often, 
also, the jewels in the pierced ear would in like manner be torn 
from their slight hold, leaving the member in a jagged and un- 
sightly state. 

"With ears in this condition," writes Orlando, " there came to the office 
one day an Indian, in great pain from a carious tooth, which he wished me 
to extract. This being accomplished, I called his attention to the unsightly 
appearance of his ears, and proposed to trim off the dangling ends and 
jagged points. To this he readily assented; so I got a scalpel, together with 
a basin of water and sponge, and commenced the operation of reducing bl- 
ears to proper shape. Me bled like a butcher, but bore the pain without 
wincing. I saw him often afterwards, and sometimes joked him about hi> 
ears. They were in very good shape, but somewhat reduced in size." 

Soon afterwards, his skill as a surgeon was put to a much 
severer test. A squaw from the Tonawanda Indian village was 
brought to the office, with a compound fracture of the right 
leg. It was evening when she arrived, and Doctor Chapin was 
absent, and was not expected to return until the following 
morning. Morning came, but the doctor came not; nor was 
there a physician to be found in the village or its vicinity. 
Inflammation set in, greatly increasing the difficulty of the ope- 
ration. The case admitting of no further delay, Orlando 
doggedly addressed himself to the task, manufacturing the 
necessary splints and bandages, ami sewand dressed the limb. 
In about ten days she was brought back, with the dressings 
off and the injured limb in a most terrible condition. The 


young surgeon again set the limb, and the suffering woman was 
sent off with many admonitions. To his utter amazement, 
within a week she was again brought to the office with the 
bandages and splints off from the leg, which was in a state but 
little removed from mortification. H seems she had been plied 
with whisky to assuage the pain, and in her drunken frenzy 
she had denuded her limb of splints and bandages. In the 
meantime, an artificial joint had been formed. Again Orlando 
manfully grappled with the case, and, after a tedious and pain- 
ful operation, sent her home, her friends promising thereafter 
to watch the wretched woman night and day, and to desist from 
giving her alcoholic stimulants. Strange to say, she recovered; 
and, stranger yet, the broken limb grew to be as sound and 
symmetrical as its fellow. 

There were few bearing fruit-trees in this region at this period, 
save clumps of the ruddy and golden Indian plum which here 
and there dotted the meadows. The neighboring settlements 
in Canada, however, which boasted of a higher antiquity, were 
provided with the common varieties of cultivated fruits. I 
will again quote from Mr. Allen's manuscript. 

* * * "It \\as in this same autumn ( 1S20), that one day, while at din- 
ner, the doctor said to Ids nephew, (lorham Chapin (who boarded with the 
family), ami myself, that he was going over the river that afternoon after 
apples, and that the desired our assistance. We took a lot of bags in a 
wagon, and went down to Black Rock, intending to obtain a with 
which to cro-.-, the river. In this we were disappointed. We could find 
nothing better than a log canoe or 'dug-out.' both Gorham and myself re- 
monstrated against undertaking the passage of the river in such a frail craft, 
especially when loaded with hags of apples. The doctor insisted that it was 
safe, with good management, and we accordingly embarked, crossed and 
dropped down the river to the Wintermute place; where we obtained, I 
think, si\ bags of apples, which, when placed in the canoe, filled it com- 
plete!) from -U-m to stem. 

" It was necessary, in order to reach the place of our departure, where our 
wagon was, to .wend the river nearly up to Colonel k bin's mill, which 
stood some fifty or >i\ty rods above the present ferry. This we did by tru- 
ing; (iorham ami myself pulling at the rope, while the doctor sat astride of 


a bag of apples, and kept the canoe off from the shore. When we arrived ai 
the point of leaving the shore, and saw that the addition of our weight would 
sink the canoe nearly to the water's edge, both Gorham and myself again 
remonstrated, thinking it the height of temerity to hazard our lives in that 
way. Again were we overruled, and ordered into, or rather onto the canoe. 
With great reluctance we complied; not, however, until we had divested 
ourselves of shoes, stockings; and much of our clothing; feeling almost cer- 
tain that th,e canoe would sink when we got into the fierce current, for her gun- 
wales were not, certainly, much, if any, more than three inches abo\e the water. 
Gorham said,' ' Well, doctor, both Orlando and I can swim, and, in case of 
trouble, will, most likely, reach the shore; but you can't swim, therefore you 
must hang on to the paddles, as the canoe will doubtless sink.' I think the 
doctor had some misgivings himself, but we must recross the river, and the 
canoe was our only resource. With him, there was no such thing as 'back 
out;' and whatever were his doubts, he kept them to himself, and simply said, 
4 Now, boys, get on, and keep still. Don't stir, and I will take you >at"ely 
across.' Each of us took a paddle to assist in preserving a balance; not in 
propelling the canoe, for that we were strictly forbidden to do, as a false 
motion when we were in the rapids might work mischief. I shall never for- 
get how I felt as we'. put off from the shore. It was a balancing between 
fear, and confidence in the doctor. To our agreeable surprise, we did cross 
in safety; not, however, without imminent peril; for, more than once, while in 
the most rapid part of the current, my heart leaped into my mouth as it 
seemed that we were about to go under." 

Our hardy pioneers thought little of such hazards, even 
where the prospective reward was less alluring than a tew bags 
of apples. But we will let our hero tell his own story. 

* * * "The road by the way of the Indian reservation was much the 
shortest; but then there was the creek to ford, which was no easy matter 
with a load of hay on an ox sled. So, on my return, I took the one by the 
way of Abbott's Corners and the lake, taking the ice at barker's: thence the 
track was a straight line to the old light-house. 

• " These oxen were a famous pair, old Dun and Bright, as they were named, 
not only for size and strength, but for their sterling qualities in other re>peets; 
quick to obey the word of command, gentle to ride when fording streams 
etc. One could rule on a load behind them anil manage them aim - 
well as he could a pair of horses with reins. I entered upon the ice n«>! 
without some apprehensions, as it had been snowing the most *>f the day, and 
still continued. The track was fast becoming obliterated, and soon would. 
be entirely, if it kept on snowing. After getting well out upon the ice 1 was 


entirely out of sight of land. So thick was the atmosphere with the falling 
snow, that I must trust entirely to the sagacity of the oxen. 

"After having gone on long enough, as I thought, to be somewhere in the 
neighborhood of the light-house, I began to peer about; peradventure I might 
get a glimpse of some familiar objects, and thus determine my whereabouts. 
All at once it stopped snowing, — the clouds broke away, — the sun shone full 
and clear, just above the horizon. To my utter amazement, I discovered, but 
a short distance before me, the open water, and my position far out towards 
the Canadian shore. I was not long in changing my course and reaching 
the shore near the mouth of the creek; thankful to have escaped the fate 
which might have befallen me had the storm continued." 

In the autumn of 1820, one William Keese, who occupied 
the first floor of the building in which Doctor Chapin's office 
was situated, had the misfortune to lose his wife by death, and 
thereupon determined to sell out his stock of goods and busi- 
ness, and return to his friends in the East. He made overtures 
to Doctor Chapin, who concluded to make the purchase, pro- 
vided that Orlando and young Hiram Pratt would take turns- 
in looking after the store, alternating one day in the store 
and one in the office. The young gentlemen were not averse 
to this proposition. Young Pratt, who did not diffuse his ex- 
ertions over so wide a field as the ubiquitously useful Orlando, 
but grappled with the drug business solely, soon managed to 
become a partner in the concern, whose managers were thence- 
forth known to the world as the firm of Chapin & Pratt. 
When the circuit of the year was made, and an account of stock 
had been taken, to the surprise of all parties it was found that 
the net gains amounted to the munificent sum of one thousand 
eight hundred dollars. Young Pratt, elated with this success, 
effected an arrangement by which he purchased Doctor Cha- 
pin's interest in the store, and for a time carried on the business 
in his own name. Hut he could not manage to dispense with 
Orlando. The young men were attached to each other by the 
ties of friendship, and had mutually resolveif in tkeir confidential 
moods that they would unite their business interests as long as 
they lived. Orlando was three or four years Hiram's junior 


and it was arranged that he should continue in the store as a 
•clerk until he should arrive at his majority, and then be ad- 
vanced to the dignity of junior partner in the house of Pratt & 

It cost Orlando but a slight struggle to turn his back upon 
the profession which was his father's choice, and embark in a 
mercantile career. But, like the good son that he was, he made 
a point of first obtaining the consent of his parents to the 
change, and next respected the claims of gratitude, by seeking 
the approbation of Doctor Chapin. He succeeded in obtain- 
ing both, although the good doctor was regretful at losing so 
faithful and accomplished- an assistant; and, with a light heart 
and many rose-colored visions of future affluence and dignities, 
Orlando became an embryo merchant. 

I cannot better illustrate the indomitable spirit which early 
•characterized Mr. Allen, than by quoting from his autobiography 
the following incident of life while an inmate of Doctor Cha- 
pin 's family: 

"In the autumn of 1820, the first agricultural fair ever held in what was 
then known as Niagara county, was held in the village of Buffalo. The 
ground selected for the fair was a -mall meadow, bordering the northerly side 
of Little Buffalo creek, now the Main and Hamburgh street canal. This 
meadow extended from a point a little east oi Main street, to a point some 
distance east of where Washington street now is, and south oi (.'row, now- 
Exchange -treet. It was all below what was then called the hill, being a 
smooth, level piece of green-sward well suited to the purpose, 

" F)octof Chapin was the president of the agricultural society, and Joseph \V. 

Moulton, Esq., the secretary. The doctor, as I have before stated, owned ii\e 

farms; including one of the Hamburgh farms, then known as the Col ton farm, 

bnt in later years as the Duel farm, situated about one mile south of Potter's 

Corners. It then contained somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred 

acre- of land. On it was kept a considerable amount of -lock, consisting of 

brood mares, colts, and a stallion, an imported horse oi very pure blood; 

also neat cattle and sheen. 

1 » 

"The two (arm- In Clarence were adjoining, and together contained 
somewhere from two hundred and lil'tv to three hundred acre-. One of them 
fronted on the main stage road, a little c.i-t of Harris hill; the other on a 


parallel road, their back ends lapping a little, so as to enable the occupants to 
go from one to the other without trespassing upon other lands. On these 
farms he had sheep. Desiring, of course, that the fair should be a success, 
he made early arrangements to have the pick of his herds and flocks, the 
products of the dairy and the loom, from his farms, ready for exhibition. 

" It was a hobby with the doctor that all of his family should on that 
occasion be clothed in domestic manufactures, and, as far as possible, with 
material from his own farms. To that end, besides flannels, stockings, linen, 
etc., he had manufactured a piece of black cloth for the male members; also 
a piece of pressed woolen cloth, in which he intended his wife and daughter 
to be arrayed, instead of silks, etc. The persons in charge of his several 
farms were directed to have all things brought in the day before the fair, but, 
as the time drew near, the doctor began to have misgivings about the working 
of his plans in that respect, and desired me to take horses, and a boy he 
named, and proceed to the'Colton farm in Hamburg, and see that all the 
stock which he had designated was forthcoming. 

"I arrived at the farm on the morning of the day preceding the fair, 
when I found that nothing had been done in the premises. I told the man in 
charge, that if he would get the old merino ram down, I would be respon- 
sible for all the rest. So, with the aid of the boy, I started with not less 
than twenty head of stock of all descriptions, to lead and drive some four- 
teen miles; and every rod of it, after the first two miles, without a fence 
along the road, and through woods the most of the way, across the Indian 
reservation. After many attempts on the part of the loose cattle to turn 
back, and long chases through the woods, we finally got them all safely here 
in Buffalo, and shut up in the barn-yard. We came in about three o'clock 
P. M., and while I was relating to Doctor Chapin the arrangements about 
the old ram, up came the man who was to bring him, minus the ram. It 
was impossible to make him lead, and there being no means of conveying 
him, he was obliged to let him go back. A nephew of the doctor's, (lorham 
Chapin, a young law student who was present, seeing the doctor's great dis- 
appointment, for this was the finest animal of the kind he had, proposed to 
take a small wagon we had, and go for the ram and bring hini in that night. 
While getting my dinner, the doctor said to me, that he had heard nothing 
from his sheep, which were to come from the farms in Clarence, although 
he had, early in the morning, dispatched a special messenger to see to them. 
I told him to give himself no further uneasiness about them; that 1 would 
see to it that they were here on time. He pitt*his hand in his pocket, 
pulled out some silver change, winch he handed me, and said he did not 
like to ask me to go, nevertheless he would be much gratified to see the 
sheen. About four o'clock, I mounted a fresh hor>e and rode for Clarence. 


On the way, I met the messenger who had been sent out in the morning, re- 
turning without having made any arrangement by which the sheep would be 
forthcoming. I had him turn and go back with me. We arrived at the 
Harris hill farm about dark, and found the delinquent farmer sitting before 
the fire, waiting for his supper. I told him how Doctor Chapin felt in re- 
gard to his negligence, when it seemed that just then it began to dawn upon 
his mind that he had been culpably negligent, and that the reckoning would 
be anything but agreeable. 'Well,' said I, 'deacon, what do you propose 
to do?' 'I can't do anything as I see; it is too late,' was his reply. I 
said, 'These sheep must be in Buffalo before to-morrow morning.' ' But 
they are in the pasture, a half a mile away?' ' No matter if they are five 
miles away, they must be driven up and got underway.' So, after supper, 
we took lanterns, went away off down into a back lot, drove up a large flock 
of sheep, got them in onto the barn floor, when, by the light of a lantern, I 
selected the required number (forty), handling every one of them myself, 
taking care to select only such as were of good size, with a heavy fleece of 
fine wool, turned them into the road, and started for Buffalo. There were 
three of us to drive the sheep; the deacon, the boy and myself, all on horse- 
back. I kept the boy ahead to guard the cross roads, one after another. 
After we had got pretty well under way, the deacon proposed to turn back. 
I said, 'Xo, you must help us on a way further;' and so I kept him along, he 
from time to time urging to be released, until we arrived at the top of Wal- 
den's hill, as it was in those days called; the first rise of ground as you go 
out on Main street. We were just upon the borders of the village, which 
was in sight. There he turned back, not wishing to have the reckoning 
just then. It was 'already broad daylight. In a few minutes after, the 
sheep were yarded, when I learned that the missing back from Hamburgh 
had arrived, but that there was still one wanting of a different breed, which 
was with Major Miller, on Slosson's farm, about eight miles east, on the 
road to Williamsvllle; past which I had come, with the other sheep, but a 
little time before. . 

"This buck had been loaned to Major Miller, and he had promised to 
return it here in time for the fair. Without more ado, I put a fresh horse 
(the doctor's favorite mare, Kate) into the small wagon, and was soon at 
the SIossou farm. The family were just arising from their beds. I ob- 
tained a hearing with the Major, who said the ram was with his tlock, some 
distance off in the pasture. He started out two or three oi his boys, when 

off we all went t«> the fields, after the sheep. When in the ham-yard, I re- 
quested the boys to catch the buck, while I went to the wagon for a rope. 

On my return, the buck was still with the sheep, which I thought a little 

strange, as the boys knew that 1 was in great haste; nevertheless, 1 pitched 


into the buck, and he pitched into me; from which I came out secrtnd be-t, 
as he had given me a tremendous bunt, which sent me rolling across the 
yard. This pleased the Miller boys right well, it being precisely what they 
expected, as they knew the combative propensities of the old fellow, and I 
did not. In the next attempt I was more successful. I got hold of him 
and hung on until he was finally securely bound and in my wagon; when, 
taking my seat, old Kate came through on the double-quick. I soon had 
the buck tied, in the yard I have so often mentioned. Just then, Doctor 
Chapin came out from the house, pipe in mouth, having just risen from the 
breakfa>t table; when, after giving some words of commendation for my active 
zeal in getting the stock into the fair, he turned to take a look at the newly- 
arrived buck, and incautiously approached within the length of his tether. 
I .saw the intention, but, before I could give the note of warning, as quick as- 
thought, the buck made a spring, and sent the doctor rolling in the dirt. 
My bones were still aching from the bunt he had given me, but, notwith- 
standing I feared the doctor was seriously hurt, I could not restrain a laugh 
at the scene. Fortunately, he was not much injured. 

" The day was fine, the entries quite numerous, and the display of animals 
and products highly creditable; and everything passed off to the satisfaction 
of all concerned. But the crowning joy with me was the ball in the evening. 
I was to wear a brand new suit of clothes, made from cloth manufactured of 
some very fine merino wool from our own sheep; and, being very fond of 
dancing, I expected to have a gay time, which I did, in fact. It forms one 
of the green spots in my life, which still lingers in my memory." 

The village paper, in its next issue, comments upon this ball, 
as follows: 

* * * ''The assembly exhibited the congregated beauty and worth of 
the village and country, mingling in all the equality, harmemyand conviviality 
df good feeling. The managers of the society expressed a hope that the 
ladies who attend the next anniversary ball will appear in domestic manu- 
factures, and -they who assisted in making their own will receive the awards 
of the society, and the distinction to which such merits will entitle them." 

The phrase "domestic manufactures." implies that the fabric, 
as well as the fashioning of it, should depend solely upon the fair 
fingers of these village belles. 

"At that period," writes Mr. Allen, "Seneca oil, — petroleum, as it i^ now 
called, — was kept only in drug stores, ami solely used in making ' British 
Oil,' and 'Oil of Spike." both of which were made by mixing the oil with 
spirits of turpentine in equal quantities. The sale o\ these preparations was 


tjuite limited, and from three to five gallons of the oil was considered a large 
supply. There was an old man living out on Oil creek, then a terra incognita 
to dwellers hereabouts, who came to Buffalo every spring, with two ten gallon 
kegs slung acro>s the back of an old white mare. These kegs would be full 
of Seneca oil when he started from home, but by the time he got here, — 
several days being occupied in the journey, — half the oil, more or less, would 
have leaked out; and, if he succeeded in arriving here with ten gallon> out of 
the twenty, he considered it great good luck. That amount, even, would 
meet all passible demands, if, indeed, it did not glut the market. He 
obtained the oil by spreading a woolen blanket upon the surface of the spring 
where it arose, by means of which the oil was gathered." 

From this humble beginning dates the history of the enor- 
mous business of mineral oil production in the United States. 

In the month of August, 1822, Mr. Allen was sent to Detroit 
to take temporary charge of a store which Mr. Pratt, together 
with a nephew of Doctor Chapin, had established in that place 
the preceding year. Detroit was then a small French town, 
which Mr. Allen reached by a sail-vessel — the only steamer 
then on the lake having been disabled by a broken shaft, 
which was being repaired in Albany. He remained there less 
than two months. ' About this time, the growing prosperity of 
Mr. Pratt's business had been such as to justify the location of 
a branch establishment at Painesville, Ohio. This business was 
no longer confined to drugs and medicines, but embraced gro- 
ceries, hardware, paints, oils, etc. In addition to this business, 
Mr. Pratt carried on in the rear of his store a kind of exchange 
office, by virtue of an arrangement made between him and the 
Canandaigua branch of the Utica Bank, which supplied the notes 
or bills. On the tenth day of February, 1824, Mr. Allen arrived 
nt his majority; when, by the terms of the compact between 
himself and Mr. Pratt, he was to be admitted into partnership 
with that gentleman. In the meantime, however, Mr. Pratt's 
ever extending business operations had induced his forming a 
partnership with one Horace Meech, which rendered the intro- 
duction «>f Mr. Allen impracticable. Mr. Allen was, however, 
repaid f<>r his disappointment by being offered the munificent 


salary of one thousand dollars a year, as general manager of 
the store, "which he cheerfully accepted. The usual salary 
of clerks at this time was two hundred dollars; aside from 
Mr. Allen's salary, the highest paid in the village was three 
hundred dollars per annum. But there was something more pre- 
cious than money that insured the fidelity of young Allen to the 
new firm, and to the interests of Mr. Pratt. He bore the yoke 
of this servitude more meekly, for that he had many months 
previous become the vassal, thrall and bondsman of Mr. Pratt's 
girlish and charming sister. At the expiration of two years, 
the firm of Pratt & Meech was dissolved, and Mr. Allen became 
a co-partner with Mr. Pratt, the firm being known as Pratt, 
Allen & Co. 

The "Co.," by the way, was a purely ornamental appendage 
to the title of the firm, and only existed in the mercantile 

44 For the first two or three years after we commenced in the little store," 
Mr. Allen remarks, " our goods were forwarded from New York to Albany 
in sloops, from thence to Buffalo by the large Cannestoga wagons, drawn by 
five to seven horses, so common in those times. They usually came in here 
several together. I remember, on one occasion, seeing seven of these seven- 
horse wagons come along down Main street in a line; they made a very im- 
posing appearance." 

I have spoken of Mr. Allen's early relations to the Indians. 
Those of our citizens who remember Red Jacket, Pollard, 
Stevenson, Seneca White, Two-guns, Captain Cold, and th^ir 
brother chieftains, will bear testimony to the truth, that how- 
ever degraded a few of them may have been by the master 
vice of drunkenness, they were men of rare natural endowments, 
and of fine, commanding presence. The race has sadly degen- 
erated since the days of Red Jacket and Corn planter. It may 
not be amiss here, to relate two unpublished anecdotes of the 
chief last named, which present an interesting jiluise of Indian 

" I can best illustrate his standing and influence in their (the Iroquois) 
councils, perhaps, by relating an incident that occurred here at Uuffaluin an 


annual council, held for the purpose of transacting their business with the 
United States, to receive their annuities, etc. 

Some months before, the Seneca chiefs had borrowed, of a person here in 
Buffalo, the sum of five hundred dollars, for the purpose of defraying the ex- 
penses of a delegation of the chiefs to Washington on public business, pledg- 
ing for its reimbursement the Grand Inland annuity due to them on the first 
of June, from the State of New York. The creditor appeared at this council 
for his pay, and presented. his vouchers, properly authenticated, to the agent. 
The money was counted out, including the wod-dod-e-yock, literally growth, 
(interest); and, as it was being handed over in payment of the debt, someone 
arose, and objected to its being paid until they had looked a little further into 
the justice of the claim; arguing that a deduction from the amount claimed 
should be made, for the reason, that their delegation had stopped at Oneida 
on their way, and taken from that people an Indian along with them to 
Washington, and defrayed his expense^ there and back; consequently, the 
Seneca.-, had not the entire benefit of the loan; therefore, the whole sum should 
not be paid by them. In vain it was urged, on the other hand, that the 
money was loaned to the Senecas on the faith of the Nation, and the pledge 
of that specific annuity; that the creditor knowing nothing of, and having 
nothing to do with the manner of spending the money, was in no way 
responsible for the wrong-doing of their delegates in the premises; and, that 
if there was a claim anybody, it was the Oneidas. for they had, 
through their delegate who was sent on to Washington with the Senecas, 
participated in whatever benefits had resulted from the expenditure of the 
money borrowed. Still the payment of it was strenuously opposed by a 
considerable number. The debate waxed warm, and words ran high. 

"At this juncture, Cornplanter, who had all this time sat apparently an 
Uninterested listener to the controversy, arose, and walked deliberately across 
the floor of the council-house to the agent's pay-table, where the money which 
he had at first counted out for the payment of this debt lay, in a pile by itself, 
and asked the agent if he bad looked at the computation of interest to see thai 
it was correct. ' Yes,', replied that officer. 'And is the exact amount of the 
claim contained in this pile of money?' taking it up in his hand. 'Yes,' was 
the answer. Cornplanter turned, and walked deliberately to the claimant, 
dropped the money into his hat which hung by the rim between his knees, 
and. turning to the objectors, said: 'This debt is paid, and there is no more 
to he said. It is enough; Cornplanter has spoken!' and. with a wave of his 
hand, as much as to say to the agent, ' l'nfi/ecd with your business,' resumed 
hbi seat. Not always in this way exactly, but somewhat after this manner. 
was he wont to enforce his ideas of honesty and fair dealing on the part i>f 
the council. 


" In the autumn of 1S35, Cornplanter visited Buffalo for the last time. 
He came, as usual, to attend the annual council for the transaction of 
their business with the United States; receiving annuities, distribution of 
goods, etc. He remained, and participated in all that was done of a public 
character; and, when the council-fire was about to be covered, there was a 
sudden movement on the part of the loiterers outside the council-house 
toward the door, and all who could find room went inside. Cornplanter 
arose, and, in a solemn and impressive manner, recounted the principal events 
of his life, as connected with the interests of his nation. lie said he had 
endeavored conscientiously to discharge his whole duty to his people. What- 
ever errors he might have committed, were error* in judgment and not of the 
heart. If he had done any wrong, or in any way given offence to any one 
present, without just cause, he desired the aggrieved party to come forward 
and be reconciled. It was his wish to be at peace with all men. He wa- 
about to go to his home, never again to leave it, until the Great Spirit should 
call him hence. He had done with the active business of life; and he added, 
'When I leave this place, most of you will have seen me for the la>t time.' 
He then gave them advice and counsel for the future; went from one to 
another and took them by the hand, saying a few parting words to each; 
passed out of the door, mounted his horse, called his traveling companions, 
and left, never to return. He died on the fifth of March following, aged 
about one hundred years." 

Mr. Allen was familiarly acquainted with Red Jacket during 
the last twelve years of the hitter's life; and nothing incensed 
him more than listening to the exaggerated and sensational 
stories current, respecting the vices attributed to the great abo- 
riginal orator. He stoutly maintained that his Indian friend 
was by no means an habitual drunkard, even in his worst estate; 
that, for considerable periods of time, Red Jacket wotdd abstain 
from the use of all intoxicating drinks; and when any council 
was to be held, or any important business to be transacted, his 
intellect was never known to be obscured by the fumes of alco- 
hol. It was, nevertheless, trtie, as Mr. Allen admitted, that the 
old chief wotdd occasionally visit the settlements and drink to 
excess; following the example of many a brilliant orator and 
astute statesman among his white cotemporaries. Upon such 
occasions, neither he nor his Indian comrades possessed the art 
of veiling his fallen dignit\ from the public gaze. 


The charges of cowardice, treachery and moral weakness, 
which have been urged against Red Jacket, were, in Mr. Allen's 
opinion, equally unfounded. Red Jacket's genius had its ap- 
propriate sphere in the council, rather than on the war-path. 
He was a statesman of the woods, and, like many another in a 
higher plane of enlightenment, the policy which temporarily 
governed his conduct exposed his motives to misinterpretation 
and censure. But always and unswervingly he was a patriot, and 
had one end in view, the happiness and welfare of his people. 
"With all the unconquerable, fiery energy of his nature, he would 
throw himself a living barrier between the child-like helpless- 
ness of his people and the craft and insatiate greed of the pale- 
faces. He was a phenomenal barbarian. In the memorable 
trial of Tommy Jemmy for murder, Red Jacket sat by the side 
of the counsel for the prisoner, scanning with his piercing eye 
the lineaments of every talesman who had been summoned as 
a juror, suggesting who should be accepted and who chal- 
lenged, and insisting that one who wore "goggles" should, 
before he was sworn, be compelled by the court to remove those 
shutters from the windows of his soul, that he might look within 
for the evidence of honesty or guile. 

Mr. Allen's estimate of Red Jacket's character was shared by 
others who had equal or better opportunities of observation. 
That Red Jacket was constitutionally brave, admits of little 
controversy. The testimony of Generals Worth and Porter 
and of Major Fraser,* ought to settle that question forever. 
His energy and resolute will-power were remarkable. Con- 
testing the ground, inch by inch, with his adversaries, after 
every resource had been exhausted, if finally beaten, he would 
invariably appeal to the Great Father at Washington. To ob- 
tain the means to do this, taxed a mind, always fertile in re- 
sources, to the utmost. Hut he knew no such word as "fail." 
With means ludicrously inadequate to the emergency, he would. 

♦See letter of Major Kr.i-cr, in the AtUIemia. p. ;' ;. 


in company with some faithful adherent who could serve as 
interpreter, set out for the distant Capital. 

" On one of these missions," writes Mr.- Allen, " he took with him 'Hank- 
Johnson,' a white man by birth, but an Indian by education and habit; hav- 
ing been captured by the Indians in childhood. This trip to Washington 
was in the latter part of the winter of iS23, I think. Early in the month of 
April of that year, I was on my way to Xew York in a stage coach, there 
being no other means of public conveyance thus early in the season. Having 
got down below Utica, somewhere in the neighborhood of Herkimer, I was 
sitting on the back seat of the coach, — the day being warm, the curtains were 
up, — looking out ahead. A slight curve in the road revealed to me two In- 
dians picking their way along through the mud, on foot. On nearing, I dis- 
covered them to be Red Jacket and Hank Johnson. 

The stage stopped, and, after a hearty greeting, I learned (what I knew 
before, by the way) that they were returning from Washington. They were 
out of money, and were obliged to travel on foot. The passengers supplied 
them with a small sum of money, and they were advised to make themselves 
known at Utica, and possibly Mr. Faxon, the managing stage proprietor 
there, might dead-head them in his stage. After I returned home, I learned 
from Hank Johnson that they were kindly received at Utica, and a con- 
siderable sum of money, raised, with which a horse, saddle, bridle and port- 
manteau were purchased and .presented to Red Jacket, together with funds 
sufficient to defray their expenses home. Johnson used to relate the various 
incidents of tlteir journey; and, with much gu.«,to, what he considered an 
.amusing one which occurred at Geneva on their way home. When approach- 
ing the town, Red Jacket told Johnson he intended to have a good dinner. 
So they passed along through the lower town, — Red Jacket on horseback 
and Johnson on foot, — up the hill to the hotel, where quite a number of 
gentlemen were sitting on the stoop in front. The hostler came up to take 
his horse. Red Jacket shook his head, ami, assuming an air of grandeur, 
■" Landlord!" 

The" landlord then made his appearance, when the following colloquy 

" Ham?" 





" Yes." 

"Take horse," and throwing mine host the reins, Red Jacket alighted. 


This is one of the very few instances on record, when the 
chief condescended to speak English. Mr. Allen describes 
him as usually very sedate and dignified in his demeanor. Oc- 
casionally, however, his austerity would relax, and melt into a 
bland and smiling mood that captivated all hearts. At such 
times he betrayed a fine sense of humor, and was wont to 
indulge in a vein of pleasantry, badinage or sly irony, often 
enlivened by anecdotes which convulsed his red auditors with 
laughter. Still, his prevailing frame of mind was contemplative, 
abstracted and severe; too subjective, in fine, to be consistent 
with an unvarying sunniness of exterior. Like every intelligent 
Iroquois, he was an ardent admirer of George Washington. 

" When," remarks Mr. Allen, "he was particularly pleased with and de- 
sirous of complimenting any of his white friends, he would say in English, 
'Just like IVas/i-e-tonf his beau ideal of all that was great and good in man. 

On all public occasions, Red Jacket was scrupulously neat 
and painstaking in his dress and appearance; and his carriage 
and air were those of a man calmly conscious of his superlative 
powers and commanding influence. 

"In person," says Mr. Allen, "he was above the medium size; live feet 
ten inches in height; large limbs; well rounded muscles; physically as well 
as intellectually strong. Sometimes he was dressed in a blue cloth coat, cut 
after the peculiar Indian fashion, and girt about the waist with a wampum 
or beaded ^a>h; blue leggings, ornamented at the side> and around the bottom) 
with white beads; a red silk kerchief, knotted, sailor-fashion, around his 
neck; plain moccasins on his feet, which were considerably misshapen by 
rheumatic pains; and always, when in full dress, with his Washington medal 
suspended from his neck, and his tomahawk-pipe in his hand. At other 
times he was dressed in a smoke-tanned deer skin c«>at and leggings, fringed 
with the same material at the seams." 

Cornplanter, in his extreme old age, when Mr. Allen first 
knew him, was a bowed and wrinkled warrior not much-above 
the average stature. One of his eyes was disfigured by a droop- 
ing lid, and his nether lip had a twist which imparted a some- 
what grotesque look to his visage. But when he arose to speak 
in council, his voice was sonorous and thrilling, and his pres- 
ence appeared dignified and commanding. 


Mr. Allen was married on the twentieth day of November, 
1826, to Miss Marilla A. Pratt, daughter of Samuel Pratt, senior, 
and sister of the late Hiram Pratt; a union which was produc- 
tive of great happiness. 

Mr. Hiram Pratt, a few years later, retired from the firm of 
Pratt, Allen & Co. in 183 1, to assume the position of president 
of the old Bank of Buffalo. At his death, he was succeeded in 
the office by Mr. Allen; who filled the position until its affairs 
were wound up, and the bank went out of existence in the dis- 
astrous year of 1S37. The financial storm which swept over 
the entire country during the years 1836 and 1837 involved in its 
wreck the estate of the late Hiram Pratt; and plunged the affairs 
of Mr. Allen into irremediable disorder. 

The next ten years of Mr. Allen's life were spent in a heroic 
but almost hopeless effort to extricate his affairs from the 
embarassments that had overtaken him; a task whose propor- 
tions would have appalled a weaker man, but to which he 
addressed himself with an energy that was tireless, and with a 
spirit of cheerfulness that no adverse fortune could quench. 
He triumphed at last, as such men will, and his indomitable 
energies sought new fields of exertion. 

Communication by rail between Buffalo and the coal fields 
of Pennsylvania, has been a dream of our Buffalo merchants 
for more than a generation. It was a favorite project of Mr. 
Allen. Xo one at this day would seriously talk of construct- 
ing a railroad between these points without municipal aid. 
That the Buffalo, Bradford & Pittsburgh Railroad, without this 
encouragement, and almost on the eve of triumph, failed to 
become a verity, was no fault of Mr. Allen. 

Lack of capital, and the proverbial apathy of our wealthy 
citizens, are responsible for the failure. Mr. Allen was the 
president of the company, and the life and soul of the enter- 
prise. As such, his course has met in son*: quarters adverse 
criticism; but those who knew the man were assured that he 
was not responsible for the miscarriage oi the scheme, but 


that the labor and time which he devoted to it, in the end were 
unrequited and unappreciated. 

I approach with reluctance another subject, that, in the minds 
of sentimentalists, may awaken long slumbering prejudices, 
which involve the motives and characters of honored citizens 
now deceased. When the future destiny of Buffalo as a great 
city was foreshadowed, the removal of the Indians, whose 
tract of thousands of acres bordered on it, became inevitable. 
No humanitarian or philanthropic considerations could stand 
in the way. A few hundred indolent semi-barbarians could 
not preserve the choicest agricultural region in the immediate 
vicinity of Buffalo, for their hunting grounds. The town must 
grow, and its expansion could not be stayed by such a puny 
barrier. Aside from this, it was vitally important to the Indians 
themselves that they should be removed from the corrupting 
influences of a great city. Capt. Pollard, their noblest chief 
after the decease of Corn planter, saw, with prophetic vision, the 
rapid destruction of his people, from the causes at which I have 
hinted. A majority of the educated and, Christianized Indians 
favored the removal, 'as the only practical means of averting 
their complete demoralization and consequent extinction. 
Their removal, to which Mr. Allen lent his active aid, has been 
fraught with incalculable benefits both to Indians and whites; 
and the Senecas to-day, in their new home at Cattaraugus, are 
rich in lands; and, were they to emulate the white man's indus- 
try and thrift, would be an exceptionally wealthy community. 
That some of the means employed to induce the Indians to sell 
the Buffalo Creek reservation were questionable in their char- 
acter, cannot be denied, but it would be difficult to attach the 
responsibility to any one person. The Indians themselves 
were divided into factions, each eager to overreach or punish 
the other. Remembering by what tortuous paths great party 
leaders arrive at magnificent results in thuse latter days, let us 
carefully bury in forgetful ness, the scandals and prejudices of 
a departed era. I should be doing the memory of Mr. Allen 


injustice, did I not add in this connection what is within my 
own personal knowledge, that he retained until his death the 
confidence and friendship of the Indians, in a remarkable 
degree. They have never ceased to call him "The Helpful," 
or "The Protector;" and the appositeness and felicity of these 
titles were demonstrated, almost daily, until his death. 

Mr. Allen had an ardent passion for sylvan sports, especially 
angling, and was an adept in the use of both rod and gun; 
although his life was too busy to admit of frequent indulgence 
in such pastimes. Still, he would occasionally snatch a few 
hours from inexorable business pursuits, to seek some woodland 
solitude, where the muffled drum of the partridge was heard, or 
where, in shaded pools, or lapsing, ledgy rivulets, the speckled 
trout gleamed through the waters, as they darted at hovering 
insects, gay with burnished wings. 

In a series of papers written for the benefit of his grand- 
children, and printed in one of our local journals, he related 
some thrilling experiences of the old Indian and pioneer hun- 
ters; particularly the exploits of Capt. Strong (Os-qui-ye-son) 
and Philip Conjockety; not to mention his eccentric friend, 
Justice Slade, who slew two noble bucks with one charge of 
his rifle. 

The red deer were plentiful about Buffalo a half century or 
more ago, and the howl of the wolf and scream of the panther 
were occasionally heard on the skirts of the primeval woods 
that girt the settlement. Near where the gas-works now stand, 
was a grassy glade, circled by sedgy swamps and black-ash 
forest. Often the apparition of a family of deer, quietly crop- 
ping the short, sweet grass that carpeted this opening, has 
gladdened the eyes of Orlando and the truant young villagers: 
a slight exclamation of wonder or delight, and, lo ! this vision 
of beauty had vanished into the gloom of the adjacent forest. 

Let me again quote from Mr. Allen's manuscript. 

* * * "I gof Jacob Jimeson, who was studying medicine with Doctor 
Chapin, to go up with me ami try and buy an Indian p'ony belonging to an 


Onondaga Indian on the reservation. After getting up some little distance 
beyond the Indian church, galloping along in a sort of blind path through 
high bushes, we came into an open glade containing, perhaps, half an acre, 
nearly circular in form. When, ju^t as I, being ahead, emerged from the 
bushes, I discovered an enormous buck, with hi.> head down, feeding, not 
more than twenty feet distant. I turned my horse's head a little, and in 
three or four jumps came up alongside, and gave him a heavy blow across 
the loins with my riding whip. I will not undertake to describe the jump he 
made, but it was tremendous, and he bounded out of sight in a moment. A 
few steps further on, we met an Indian, shooting young pigeons with a bow 
and arrow. We told him of the deer and the direction he had gone, when 
he started off upon a run, to get his gun and follow the trail." 

* * * "In the fall of 1S20, there suddenly appeared here a swarm of 
black squirrels. Buildings, fences and trees were covered with them. It 
was said that they migrated from Canada, swimming the Niagara; how this 
was, I know not. Certain it is, however, that this shore of the river was 
lined with them. I shot fourteen from one little willow near the >hore, one 
afternoon. The tree Mas not twenty feet high. There were some large oak 
trees standing on the common, between Main and Washington streets, some- 
where between North and South Division streets, from which the Indian 
boys picked off hundreds in the course of a few weeks, with their bows and 

The history of Mr. Allen's career during the past twenty 
years, is, in effect, the history of Buffalo for the same period. 
There has scarcely been any civic undertaking or public enter- 
prise that has not received the impress of his personality. As 
a member of our board of supervisors and of our common 
council; as manager of a railroad; as mayor of our city; as 
member of the legislature; as one of the founders of the Orphan 
Asylum; as a manager of the Insane Asylum; as councilor of 
the University of Buffalo; as president of the Historical Society; 
a,s chairman of the Old Settler's Festival; as trustee of one oi 
our savings banks, and chairman of its building committee; 
as presiding officer in public meetings without number, and as 
councilor and friend of innumerable other interprises into 
which he contrived to infuse sonfethipg of his own tireless, 
inexhaustible energy and dauntless spirit, his name will be 
written on every page of our later annals. There Is so mu< h 


work to be accomplished in society, so much need of men of 
achievement, where men of words are so redundant, that Or- 
lando Allen could not be idle. To a man so richly and 
variedly endowed, with such overflowing vitality and such- 
exuberance of strength, labor in every form is a relief and a 
pastime. If it kept him continually prominent in the public 
eye, the voice of envy and detraction was hushed, when the 
unselfish and chivalrous nature of the man was known. 

The career of Mr. Allen during the past twenty years is 
crowded with incidents of an interesting character, but the 
limits of this paper will not admit of even a passing glance at 
them. I have preferred, rather, to dwell upon the events of 
his early life, with their novel and picturesque surroundings; 
reserving for another occasion, details which are fresh in all our 

For two or three years before his death, his family and inti- 
mate friends discovered that he had become affected with a 
chronic disease of the heart. Winters spent in Florida and 
Southern California did not woo back the health so eagerly 
coveted. And yet, to all appearances, there was little abate- 
ment of the old-time vigor, and no eclipse of that joyous spirit 
that irradiated happiness all around him. He had passed 
through many vicissitudes, had breasted many storms, had 
been defrauded of a fortune, and had but just regained it after 
a weary legal warfare that ended only with the court of last 
resort, and had done an amount of work of which few men are 
capable. At last, with a competency that justified cessation of 
care and toil, surrounded by a united and affectionate family, 
with a' capacity for enjoyment that few men possess, with every 
prospect that could render the evening of his life beautiful, the 
strong man bowed himself. 

"Vanity of vanities, ssaith the preacher; vanity of vanities; all is vanity." 

"What profit hath a man of all his labor which he^aketh under the sun." 

Mr. Allen died in Buffalo, in the Christian faith, which he 
had professed for nearly fifty years, on the fourth day o\ Sep- 


tember, 1874. His widow and two worth)' sons, William K. 
and Henry F. Allen, survive him. He himself followed to the 
grave four of his children, Sarah J. Allen, Hiram Pratt Allen, 
Orlando Allen, Jr., and Lucy A., wife of Hon. Nelson K. 

Mr. Allen's mental character exhibited a rare combination 
of qualities. Eminently a man of action, he was a man of 
reflection as well, but not to that degree that leads men to 
carefully poise opposing arguments and forces, and then ponder, 
hesitate and doubt, until the golden opportunity has fled. He 
had a cool, practical judgment, and the faculty of seeing both 
sides of a question, — of taking in at a glance the arguments to 
be met, and the difficulties to be overcome. His course once 
marked out, it was followed, with an inflexible tenacity of pur- 
pose, to the end. He was never bigoted or narrow in his views, 
but, while steadfastly loyal to his own convictions, was uni- 
formly tolerant and charitable toward the opinions of others. 

He never sought office, and never practiced any of the arts 
of popularity. Indeed, while not insensible to the favorable 
opinion of his fellow-men, he preferred the approval of his own 
conscience to popular applause, which he knew to be capricious 
and evanescent. 

He did not readily admit his acquaintances to the inner 
circle of his friendship; but, once admitted, they were attached 
to him as by hooks of steel. No labor or sacrifice in their be- 
half was too great or costly, and there was something in the 
royal nature of the man that led the perplexed and troubled to 
repose in security upon his ample strength. He possessed an 
innate refinement of mind, clear, acute perceptions, and a 
vigorous understanding. Without the aid of an early education, 
lie found opportunities in his busy life for self-culture, and had 
enriched his intellect by reading and by habits of reflection. 
He was never unemployed; if he had hwt a moment of leisure 
he would seize some favorite book, and become absorbed in its 
perusal. He had the blessed faculty of labor, and his spirit- 


seemed to rise and grow buoyant in proportion to the height 
of the difficulties which rose in his pathway. He was not an 
egotist in the offensive sense of the term, for he rarely spoke 
of himself or his achievements, but he had illimitable confi- 
dence in his own powers, and his iron will and indomitable 
energy took no account of a possible failure when he had fairly 
embarked in an enterprise. 

Although he could exhibit a righteous indignation when just 
cause arose, his temper was remarkably serene and equable. 
He apparently never lost his cheerfulness in the midst of dis- 
aster, for he never doubted his ability to conquer the most 
adverse circumstances. He knew how to "labor and to wait," 
and saw a silver edging to the darkest cloud. His memory 
was wonderfully retentive, and was an inexhaustible storehouse 
of fact and anecdote relating to the past. As a story-teller he 
was inimitable: and, like Abraham Lincoln, he had an apposite 
and happy anecdote to illustrate or enforce every proposition. 

His heart could never grow old; and so tenderly had the 
passing years touched him, that, on the verge of three-score 
years and ten, his hair was still unbleached, his step had the 
elastic spring of youth, and his whole aspect betokened the 
meridian strength and glory of manhood. In the autumn of 
his days, his feelings had the glad freshness of the spring-time. 
He had not grown weary of the warfare of life, nor misanthropic. 
nor cynical. There was not the slightest morbid taint in his 
nature. He accepted life as the good God gave it — the sweet 
and the bitter — and was grateful for the happiness he could ex- 
tract from it. He had imagination, too, and was easily kindled 
into enthusiasm, but his robust sense forbade his being led astray 
by any chimera. He was an affectionate husband and father, 
a humble and sincere Christian, and a notably useful citizen. 
He was. also, 1 may add, a man of large and active benevolence. 

I cannot better close this feeble tribute than by quoting the 
remarks of the late Rev. Dr. Lord, made at Mr. Allen's funeral. 
which I find reported in one of our daily newspapers: 


"Orlando Allen was a man of great power and untiring activity. Under 
different circumstances and with better opportunities, he Mould have been 
the leader of armies, or guided the councils of the State; for, in the speaker's 
opinion, he was one of those men born to command. Could any one doubt 
that in God's amazing universe of spirits, that active, earnest soul would find 
an exalted place, where its energies would be eternal ?" 


The following letter, printed in the Buffalo Patriot of August 7th, 1S21, 
was written by Major Donald Fraser, aid-de-camp to General Porter, and 
in command of all the Indians in the service of our government, on this fron- 
tier, during the last war with Great Britain. 

The signature, " Black Wolf," is a translation of the Indian name bestowed 
upon Major Fraser by the Indians. 

"Mr. Salisbury: 

" Sir — A deserved eulogy on the character of the venerable chief of the Six 
Nations, the late Farmer's Brother, published a short time since in the Xcw 
York American has, I perceive, been copied into several other papers; it is 
due to the character of that celebrated chief, Red Jacket, to correct the state- 
ment so far as it alludes to him. 

"Red Jacket is charged with being cowardly, treacherous, dishonorable and 
intemperate. It ill becomes us to charge him with cowardice. At Fort 
George, Chippewa, &c, he let! his men bravely into action, and if ever there 
had been a doubt respecting "his courage, his conduct in those bloody scenes 
should have acquitted him thenceforward; but the fact is otherwise. In what 
act of his life has he evinced 'treachery to his nation, or to the people of 
these States? I challenge a single one! His conduct during the late war, 
in support of the cause of our country, shows he was not treacherous to us; 
and the course which he has invariably pursued, in relation to the various prop- 
ositions. which have been made for the purchase of the Indian lands, shows, 
at the same time, his honesty to his own nation, and acquits him fully of the 
charge of dishonor. 

" The last charge cannot be rebutted in toto. He is, at times, intemperate; 
but the writer of this article has seen him during two campaigns in the 
enemy's country, not only refrain from the use of ardent spirits, but earnestly 
urge the commissary-general nut to permit any to be furnished to his men 
while engaged in our service in Canada. I have repeatedly seen him in coun- 
cil with us and know that he made it a principle to abstain from liquor 
during the session. 

" Red Jacket is truly a great man, and commands respect for his astonish- 
ing powers of oratory, and his gallantry in the, field. It will be hut an act 
of justice to him, for the editors of the American^ and those of other papers 
who may have copied the articles alluded to, to give this an insertion." 

" Black Woi k." 



Extract from notes of conversations at a meeting of the Club of the Buffalo 
Historical Society. 

Mr. Orlando Allen said: "1 was not present at the last meeting of the 
Club, at which, as I learn from the Secretary's minutes, allusion was made to 
Captain Brant, in connection with the massacre of Wyoming, and Campbell's 
poem on that theme. There is an incident relating to the subject, which I 
would beg leave to relate. In the latter part of 1S36, or early part of 1S37, 
Storm's Life of Brant was issued from the press. The Democratic Review, 
in noticing the work, sharply criticised and questioned the ground Colonel 
Stone had taken, in combatting the generally received opinion, that Brant was 
the master spirit in that lamentable affair. 

"Although well satisfied, as he afterwards told me, of the correctness of his 
statements, founded as they were upon unquestionable evidence furnished by 
the Brant family, Colonel Stone desired to fortify his position by testimony 
lrom unprejudiced sources. You, sir (turning to Ex-President Fillmore), 
then a member of Congress from this district, gave him a letter to me, in 
which you briefly staled his wishes. He came to my house in the month of 
November and presented the letter. I had a long and pleasing conversation 
with him, in the course, of which he told me the facts of the case, and said 
he desired to rind some Indians who had been present at the Wyoming affair, 
and procure their testimony on the subject. I told him I knew several par- 
ticipants in the massacre, and among them the distinguished Seneca chief. 
Ga-oun-do-wah-nah, or Captain Pollard. 

"The next morning I drove Colonel Stone out to the reservation, and to 
Pollard's residence. The old chief lived in a well-furnished one-and-a-half 
story house, surrounded by an orchard and finely cultivated fields. There 
was an air of comfort and thrift all about the place. We found the chief 
confined to his bed by an attack of rheumatism. I introduced Colonel Stone 
to him, and told him the object of our visit; to vindicate, if possible, the 
memory of the dead, and settle a vexed question in history. Captain Pollard 
maintained a thoughtful silence for a few moments, and then said to me in 
tho. Seneca tongue: 

" ' I was at Wyoming, and probably know as much about that affair as 
any living man. You know that I was once a pagan warrior, but that I 
have since become a Christian, and look upon the scenes of my younger 
days—with abhorrence and regret. I dislike to dwell in thought upon 
this subject, much more in words. Hut as it i* a duty to vindicate the 
dead, I will conquer m\ reluctance and tell you what I know. There 
were two war parties at Wyoming. One was rom posed of Senecas, led 

ADDENDA. 3 6 5 

by a chief now living, and whom you know. The other was composed 
of Onondagas, led by a man now living on that reservation, and whom you 
also know, — he is a very aged man. Besides, there were a few Mohawks, 
but not enough to form a distinct band, and they joined our party, the 
Senecas (for they were our neighbors then), encamped at Lewiston, on the 
Niagara. Captain Brant was not there. I know the fact. He was at 
Niagara at the time.' " 

Mr. O. H. Marshall.— "Who did Captain Pollard say led the Senecas at 

Mr. Allen. — " It was Old King, as I remember." 

REMINISCENCES. — From Mr. Allen's Autobiography, 


" Shortly after I came to Buffalo, in the summer of iSig, I rode down ta 
Sandy Town, as it was called. I followed the creek to the beach; and, after 
going down that a short distance, turned off, inland, passing through a belt 
of timber, and came into a large opening, containing rive or ten acres, pos- 
sibly more. On the east it was bounded by a marshy swamp; on the west by 
a range of sand hills, which bordered the beach of the river; on the north by 
a high ridge of land, and on thesouth by the belt of timber I have mentioned. 
Some of these sand hills were from twenty to thirty feet high, and partially 
covered with small trees. There were the remains of the long ranges of log 
barracks which were used by soldiers during the war. There were also 
two log dwelling-houses, which appeared to have originally belonged to the 
barracks. These were inhabited, — and this was Sandy Town! 

" While loitering back of these sand hills, looking about, everything being 
new to me, I heard a burst of music, in loud-swelling notes, that came float- 
ing on the breeze from over the sand hills, which then obstructed my view 
of the river. I forced my horse to mount one of these elevations, from which 
I saw, out upon the water, a large vessel, with flags and streamers flying; a 
band upon the upper deck, discoursing sweet music; a large number of gaily 
dressed ladies and gentlemen; smoke and steam issuing from her several 
chimneys,and pipes, and more than all, a long hawser, reaching from the 
vessel to the shore, to which were a.ttached some twenty or thirty yoke of 
oxen, tugging away, hauling the Vessel up the rapids. This was the steam- 
boat Walk-in-tlit-u<atcr, of which 1 had often heard but never before seen. 
It was, to me, a novel and splendid sight, making an indelible impression 
upon my mind. # 

"The Walk-in~the-vwter and Sill Thompson & Co.'s "horn breeze,"* be- 
came familiar objects to me ere long. 

* Sec Early Reminiscences of Buffalo and Vicinity^ p. 164. 


" While out on this or some similar excursion, I noticed some coffins, par- 
tially exposed; the sand in which they had been buried having been blown 
away. There were evidences that considerable numbers had been buried 
there; — soldiers, probably, who died while in cantonement. There were one 
or two coffins which were entirely exposed, their lids being off. The skele- 
tons seemed to be there, though the coffins were filled with sand. The bones, 
so far as they were in sight, were clean and dry. 

"On my return, I spoke to Doctor Chapin, or some one, about them; and, 
coming to the conclusion that there would be no harm in securing one of 
them for the office, I resolved to do >o. So, one very dark night, not long 
after, I took a bag. mounted a horse, and rode down to Sandy Town. The 
box which I had marked out as the one T wanted to empty, was in pretty 
close proximity to the dwelling-houses, in one of which there was fiddling 
and dancing going on, on that dark night. There was a bright light in 
the house, the door stood open, and let a stream of light far out upon the 
sand, reaching to the box in question, which I feared might expose my ope- 
rations to the inmates. But I concluded to run the risk. So, dismounting 
from my horse, slipping the bridle-rein over my arm, I squatted down and 
commenced feeling in the sand for the bones. With the larger ones there 
was no difficulty, and knowing pretty well where to feel carefully for the 
smaller ones composing the hands and feet, I soon went through the box 
from head to foot, mounted my horse with the bag in front and rode home. 
On examining my prize by the light of day, I was agreeably surprised to find 
that there was not a bone missing; I had the skeleton, complete and sound. 
It remained in the office for long years after I left." 


" Doctor Chapin had one or two horses, which he sometimes used in his 
rides, and which we were accustomed to turn upon the commons. When 
wanted for use, they were hunted and brought up. The Irishman, O' Brian, 
of whom I have spoken, was generally pretty good upon the trail; sometimes, 
however, he would beat fault. One morning in the summer of 1S20, I went 
out in search of these horses. I went down Seneca street to the woods, 
which then commenced a little way east of where Wells street now inter- 
sects, possibly nearer to where Michigan street is. At that time, Amasa 
Ransom's house on the corner of Seneca and what is now Centre street, 
was the last one on Seneca going east; fTor was the street opened beyond 
the woods above mentioned. 

" There were places here and there in the woods com paratively open, which 
afforded pretty good grazing.* There was one, in particular, containing half 


an acre or more, which, at some period long before, had been thoroughly 
cleared of trees and stumps; not a vestige of either remained. It had a clean 
nice sward, its outer edge fringed with thorn bushes, and a small clump of 
them standing near its center. It was a beautiful grass-plot. It mu>t, I 
think, have been cleared by the hand of man; possibly an Indian's wigwam 
had once occupied the place. This spot was as far east as Chicago street, 
and south of the line of Seneca, two or three hundred feet. Hereabouts, 
as I expected, I found the horses. The grass was cropped off quite close, in 
this little " oasis," except one small patch close to the fringe of thorn bushes, 
differing so materially from all the grass around it in appearance, that it 
attracted my attention. On examining it more closely, I found imbedded 
among the roots of grass, part of a human skeleton. On taking up the .->kull, 
I noticed two unnatural holes in it. One, near the center of the forehead, 
appeared to have been made with a round instrument like a rirle ball. 
The other, in the side of the head, near the angle of the skull above the ear, 
had the appearance of having been made with a small hatchet or tomahawk. 
The cut was clean, no fracture extending from it, except that the bone at 
the lower lip of the cut had chipped off a little. In other respects the skull 
was perfect, and I carried it up to our office in my hand, it being quite clean 
and free from any unpleasant odor. It was seen and examined by a number 
of old citizens who were here at the burning of the village by the British, 
when a number of citizens were killed by the Indians. The prevailing 
opiniftn among them, and particularly of a Mr. Timothy McEwen, who 
claimed to know all about it, was, that it was the skull of a Canada Indian, 
who was killed here during the war, by the famous Seneca chief, Farmer's 
Brother, as a spy. 

'* The circumstances connected with the affair, as related to me then by 
those who claimed to know, were somewhat as follows: 

" As all the world knows, the Mohawk Indians once lived within the bounds 
of the State of New York, but, having espoused the cause of the king against 
the Colonies in the Revolutionary war, at its close, they settled upon the 
Grand river in Canada. Subsequently, other portions of the Iroquois, bauds 
of Senecas, Cayugas, Onondaga-, and Tuscororas, also migrated to the lands 
reserved for them, on the same river. It was an Indian belonging to one 
of these Canada bands of Iroquois, probably a Mohawk, I think I was so in- 
formed, who came over here during the war of 1S12, pretending friendship. 
He ha(l_Jjeen here some considerable time, associating with our Indians, 
when he began to be suspected as a spy, On* being watched closely, cir- 
cumstances transpired which seemed to fix the crime upon him, in the minds 
of the Indians, beyond a doubt; Farmer's Brother. Captain Pollard, Little 
Billy, Young King, Destroy Town, Major Berry, and others, investigated the 


charges very thoroughly; indeed, he had been heard to boast of the number of 
scalps he had taken from our soldier;-, and Indians. One of the grave charges 
preferred against him was, that he had decoyed some of our Indians off into 
a solitary place, and then killed and scalped them. He was condemned by an 
impromptu council of chiefs and warriors, to die as a spy. He was made to 
lie down, when Farmer's Brother took a loaded gun from the hand of an In- 
dian, and, after addressing the culprit upon the enormity of his offense and its 
consequences, he closed with words to the following effect: ' You are about to 
die the death of a dog; I am going to kill you now; ' when, suiting the action 
to the word, he raised the gun and fired, putting the ball into his head; then 
stepped up, and gave him one blow with his tomahawk, upon the head. 
Turning to some young Indians present, he told them to drag the body off 
into the woods, and then leave it, food for dogs. This account of the exe- 
cution, in its main features, agrees substantially with that given in William 
Ketchum's History of Buffalo and the Scnccas, though differing somewhat in 
its details. I tell it as it was told to me, by an eye-witness. Taking into 
consideration all the circumstances of that affair, as related, particularly when 
I add, that my informant further told me that the body was dragged off in 
the direction, and left somewhere in the vicinity of where I found the skull, 
it seemed quite probable that the remains in question were those of that 
Indian spy. 

" I will add, that I have heard the same statement, substantially, from the 
Indians themselves. In' relation to Farmer's Brother, it was said, that im- 
mediately after the execution, without communicating with any one, he turned 
and went directly to his home on Farmer's Point, where he spent the two 
succeeding days and nights, lying upon hi.-, couch, with his face down, com- 
muning only with the Great Spirit and his own thoughts. 

" I never saw Farmer's Brother; he died before I came to Buffalo, but from 
my mother-in-law's family, all of whom were more or less, and Mime of them 
most intimately acquainted with him, speaking, his language fluently, I have 
heard much of him." 

.That young Allen's intercourse with the native proprietors of this region 
was not invariably amicable, the following incident, related by him, furnishes 
convincing proof : 

"One evening, in the spring of 1S21, an Indian by the name of Steep- 
Rock came in, having on no clothing a shirt, fastened around the 
waist with a knife-belt, and breech-cloth. He wan one of the seven Indians 
who were taken to Europe on exhibition in 1S1S. Without saying anything, 
m even noticing me, he walked straight to the back end of the store, picked 


up a tumbler, squatted down in front of a cask, and commenced drawing 
whisky into the tumbler. I picked up an axe-helve, and told him to desist. 
He paid no attention to me, but let the liquor run, until the tumbler was run- 
ning over. He turned off the faucet, and, without putting the tumbler to 
his lips, was about to rise to his feet, when I kicked it from his hand. He 
turned to face me, but on seeing my preparation for defence, he sprang for 
the door. Before he could make his exit, however, I let him feel the weight 
of the axe-helve across his shoulders; when, with one bound, he cleared the 
platform and steps, landing far out towards the outer edge of the sidewalk, 
which was then only of earth, turned, and ran down the street. 

"In a few moments he came back, whooping, yelling, crying, by turns, 
swinging his' axe, and making terrible threats of vengeance. I then began 
to have some fears. He was a large, strong Indian, of tine mould, but an 
ugly, vindictive one. He had divested himself of his shirt, but still retained 
the belt and knife. As I stepped out upon the platform in front of the store, 
I could discover no one about the store next above us; but, on turning my 
eye down street, I saw Henry Wormwood, a young man in the employ of 
Townsend & Coit, sitting on a cask upfront of their building, on the corner 
below, the other side of Swan street. I called to him in a manner which in- 
dicated my need. He came up. immediately; when, upon my informing him 
of the >tate of affairs, he drove the Indian off, without offering him any 
violence. Wormwood had a strojng, heavy frame, and was as plucky as he 
was strong. 

" There was a .^pace of some eighteen inches to two feet between our store 
and Hart \- Lay's, next above. This vacant space was in dispute between 
Doctor Chapin and Eli Hart, but was u>ed in common by the occupants of 
the stores as a receptacle for broken crockery, bottles and glass, of which it 
contained a liberal supply. This open space was covered by one of our win- 
dow-shutters when open. 

"About nine o'clock, having forgotten all about the affair with Steep-Rock, 
in closing the store for the night, just a> I put my hand to this Quitter, I 
heard a jingling among the broken crockery. On stooping down and peering 
under the shutter, [ >aw the bare feet and leg> of an Indian, nearly up to the 
knees. I knew him to be Steep-Rock, and suspected his intentions. 1 also 
knew that he could not get out without crawling upon his hands and knees, as 
the shutter was firmly held in its place by strong iron fastenings. I gave no 
intimation of recognition, but stood a moment reflecting upon the situation 
of affairs, when, just at that instant, I heard young Wormwood come along 
Swan street, and take his seat upon the steps of Townsem! & Coit's buiUling. 
This was, indeed, timely aid. 1 called to him 'as before. As he came up. 
I pointed to the feet and legs seen under the shutter. Wormwood was a 


.laboring man, of large muscular frame, — a match, physically, for any Indian. 

" After conferring a moment as to what we had better do with him, he stood 
guard, while I went down below Swan street to Weed's hardware store, 
and got a couple of rawhide whips. On my return, I took a light from the 
store, when, on throwing back the shutter, there stood Steep-Rock wedged 
in between the buildings, pretending to be dead drunk; as limp as a rag. 
His knife lay at his feet, which he had drawn from its sheath and held in his 
hand, in readiness to plunge it into me as I opened the shutter, which was 
undoubtedly his intention; but, on finding that he was discovered, and to have 
two instead of one to deal with, he had dropped the knife, in hopes, prob- 
ably, that it would be hidden by tlie rubbish. With an axe-helve I poked 
it out, -and got possession of it, when we drew him out and across the street 
on to the common, now Ellicott Square, turned him over upon his face, and 
gave him a few cuts with the rawhides on his bare shoulders and back; I 
think we must have given him as many as twenty, well laid on, before he 
showed the least sign of life or feeling. There was not the perceptible 
quiver of a muscle, but the blows became too hot and heavy for him to sim- 
ulate dead drunk any longer, and, in an instant, as cpiick as a flash, he 
sprang to his feet, gave one of those terrific yells which, the Indfans were 
accustomed to give when in trouble, and bounded off like a deer, out of reach 
in a moment, taking his way towards the Indian village. We could hear his 
signal whoops and yells, and see his form, for a long distance, — the moon was 
full and shining brightly; — we could also hear responses a long distance off, 
in two directions. 

" Steep-Rock was a vicious, ugly fellow. While in England, he twice at- 
tempted to kill the interpreter. He subsequently murdered his squaw, and 
died in the jail at Batavia, wbile awaiting his execution." 


"It was said that Captain Parrish spoke five of the Iroquois dialects flu- 
ently. I have no personal knowledge as to the truth of this claim. When- 
ever I have heard him address the Indians, it was always in the Mohawk 

"Captain Jones was considered an excellent interpreter of the Seneca 
language. He spoke it like a native; and, for an uneducated man, hail a 
remarkable command of the English language. His selection of words to 
express his idea-, was happy, and his description of scenes, graphic. 

" They were both large, portly men, with gray hair and florid complexion; 
and, as they moved about our streets, would attract notice by their dignified 
carriage and gentlemanly bearing. 


" On the trial of Tommy Jemmy, here in Buffalo, many of the leading 
chiefs of the Seneca nation were examined as witnesses for the prisoner; — 
among these, Red Jacket, Young King, Little Billy, Destroy Town, Captain 
Pollard, James Stevenson, Big Kettle; besides others, whose names I cannot 
recall. Captain Horatio Jones, interpreter for the New York Indians, was 
interpreter for the court, on this trial. When Red Jacket was called to the 
stand, he remarked to the court that not only the life of his friend, So-non- 
gise, but questions of paramount importance to his nation, were at stake; he, 
therefore, desired as interpreter, his friend, Mr. Pratt, O-way-non-gay 
(Floating Island), who was master of both the English and the Seneca 
languages, that what he had to say might be accurately interpreted. He did 
not, in the least, distrust the integrity or ability of the United States inter- 
preter, Captain Jones, but, for other reasons, preferred that his friend, Mr. 
Pratt, should officiate on this occasion. Captain Jones, glad to be rid of the 
responsibility, stepped aside, Mr. Pratt was speedily obtained, and the trial 

"In the course of his direct examination, Red Jacket was asked, 'How 
old are you?" Answer — 'I don't know, but my mother told me that when 
Fort Niagara was captured from the French by the British, I was just big 
enough to crawl around on the .floor.' * * * He also stated, at the same 
time, and on the same authority, that he was born at Canoga, on the we-t 
bank of Cayuga Lake, where his parents were encamped on a fishing expe- 







The Buffalo Historical Society, in the prosecution of its 
work of gathering all the facts having relation to the early his- 
tory of our city, and generally to the region of Western New 
York and the great lakes, have directed a memorial of the life 
and public services of Oliver Forward to be compiled, not only 
.that their record may exist in some authentic form, but as a 
just recognition of his valuable labors. The lives of men who 
have rendered important services to their generation, and by 
their devotion to the public good have aided to accomplish 
beneficial results, should be borne in grateful and enduring re- 
membrance. Too often the applause of men is given, with 
unsparing hand, to those who were incited to action solely by 
selfish considerations, and withheld from more deserving objects 
of approbation, whose highest ambition was to advance the 
interests of their age. It is the duty of the impartial historian 
to render to each the proper meed of honor; and if time and 
circumstance have contributed to induce forget fulness of merit. 

*Then President of the Society. 


it well becomes us to review the records of the past, and award 
the just measure of our commendation. 

Samuel Forward, the great-grandfather of the object of this 
memoir, emigrated from England before the year 1700, and 
with his wife settled at Windsor, Connecticut. They brought 
with them those stern virtues and characteristics of their parent 
land which enabled them, with the men of their time, to 
triumph over the troubles and hardships endured in the settle- 
ment of the wilderness, and which, in the long line of their 
descendents, have been, upon many occasions, so greatly mani- 
fested. Their son, Abel, was born in 1710, and died at East 
Granby, Connecticut, in 1798, leaving a large family of chil- 
dren; of whom, Samuel, who was the sixth child, was born 
May 1st, 1752, and settled at East Cranby, where he resided 
until June, 1803. At this time, he sold his possessions at that 
place and emigrated to Aurora, in the state of Ohio. He went 
overland with all his family, consisting of himself, his wife, his 
son Samuel with his wife and children, his other children, 
Walter, Julia, Chauncey, Rennsselaer, his son Oliver's wife, and 
David Loomis, conveyed in two large wagons, one drawn by a 
span of horses, the other by two yoke of oxen and a horse in 
the lead, one saddle-horse and two cows. Thus the train was 
made up, and with them the) took fanning utensils, domestic 
articles and provisions. They reached Aurora July 27th, 1803, 
having been forty-eight days on the route which is now traveled 
in half as many hours, and found his son Oliver and three hired 
men, who had gone there the previous February to prepare for 
them. A clearing had been made and a log house erected, and 
the pioneer, with his family around him. began the great work 
of aiding in the development of the might)- West. Such men, 
the inheritors of sterling and manly New England \irtues. were 
the very ones to plant the graces of our civilisation, and the 
republicanism of our institutions, upon the virgin soil of the 
northwestern territory. Samuel Forward died in 1821, having 
filled many positions of importance, among them, that of judge 


of Portage county; his counsel always being influential, and his 
character entitling him to universal respect. 

Oliver Forward was born in December, 1780, and married 
Sally Granger of Sufheld, Connecticut. He settled at Aurora, 
Ohio, in the spring of 1803, and resided there probably about 
six years, and then, through the influence of his brother-in-law, 
Erastus Granger of Buffalo, he moved to this place about the 
year 1809. Judge Granger, at that time, filled the position of 
post-master and collector of customs at Buffalo, and agent for 
the Indian tribes in Western New York. He had, before that, 
setded here, and took up a large tract of land, now, in part, 
embraced in Forest Lawn and the Park, and resided, until his 
death, at what was known as Flint Hill, a little west of the 
stone house erected in later years by his son, our esteemed 
fellow-citizen, Warren Granger. Judge Forward immediately 
assumed the duties of deputy collector and assistant post- 
master, whics were of much importance, as this place was the 
great distributing office of the frontier. He was also appointed 
and acted as justice of the peace. 

In 1 81 1, Charles Townsend and George Coit, honorable 
names in the history of our city, came here as traders, bring- 
ing about twenty tons of merchandise — a heavy stock for that 
time — which was boated from Schenectady on the Mohawk 
river, carried across the short portage to Wood creek, and 
thence floated to Oswego and to Fewiston, carted around the 
Falls to Schlosser, and thence brought in boats up the Niagara 
river, to Buffalo. Judge Townsend furnished a paper before 
his death, from which the following facts in regard to the vil- 
lage at that early day are extracted. 

" In iSu, Buffalo contained less than one hundred dwellings, and a popu- 
lation <>f some four or five hundred. The only public buildings wore the 
old stone jail on Washington street, and an unfinished wooden court-house. 
A small wooden building, built and claimed by -Doctor Cyreniu> Chapin, 
near the southwest corner of Pearl and Swan streets, put up for a school- 
house, Nerved also as a town hall, a church for all religious denominations, 
and indeed for all public purposes. Three tavern- were kept; one by Joseph 


Landon, on Exchange street, and occupying a part of the site of the Man- 
sion House; another of more moderate pretensions, at the corner of Main 
and Seneca streets, by Raphael Cook; and the third by Gamaliel St. John, 
near the corner of Main and Court streets. The only merchants were Juba 
Storrs & Co., Grosvenor & Heacock, Eli Hart, and Isaac Davis; the first 
being located on the northwest corner of Washington and Exchange streets, 
and the others on Main, between South Division and Exchange streets. A 
mail from Albany brought once or twice a week, in a wooden spring lumber 
wagon, was opened by Oliver Forward, a justice of the peace. Judge Gran- 
ger held the office of postmaster, and also that of collector of the port, — the 
latter an office rather of honor than of business or profit. The commerce of 
the lakes was small. I think that, at this time, there were only four or 
five small vessels on our side, and two or three merchantmen, besides two 
British armed vessel-, on the other. There was no harbor here. The mouth 
of the Buffalo creek was usually so much obstructed by a sand-bar that small 
vessels could but rarely enter, and even canoes were sometimes shut out, and 
footmen walked dry shod across the mouth. Vessels were loaded and un- 
loaded at a wharf near Bird Island, at Black Rock." 

Before 1811, Judge Forward had built a small, one-story 
wooden dwelling, on Pearl street, in the rear of what is now 
No. 102, where he resided, and in a small addition thereto 
carried on the post-office and the business of collector of cus- 
toms, as the deputy of Judge Granger. This was the central 
part of the village, where the news from all parts of the world 
was received and disseminated. He continued thus to act and 
live until the British and Indians, on the thirtieth day of De- 
cember, 1S13, burned the place, and massacred the defenceless 
women and children. The post-office was removed to Judge 
Granger's residence, where the public business was transacted 
until the following spring, when it became safe for the scattered 
inhabitants to return to the village. As soon as possible, in 
the year 18 14, Judge Forward commenced the erection of a 
new dwelling on Pearl street. It was a double, two-story brick 
house, and was considered the most elegant residence in the 
place. The northern portion of if is vet standing, being the 
parlor of the house Xo. 102 Pearl street, the hall oi whit h i> of 
comparatively recent erection. In this part of his residence the 


post-office was established, and, as Judge Granger had, before 
this, resigned the position of collector, to which Judge Forward 
succeeded, the business of collector of customs was also trans- 
acted there. For many years he was also treasurer of Niagara 
county, before Erie county was organized; and in the perform- 
ance of the duties of these positions of trust, he manifested the 
greatest integrity. 

The village of Buffalo was incorporated by the legislature, in 
April, 1 813; and Eli Hart, Zenas W. Barker, Ebenexer Walden, 
Oliver Forward and Cyrenius Chapin were the trustees nomi- 
nated by the act. 

On the fourteenth of April, 181 7, Judge Forward was appointed 
one of the judges of Niagara county; which position he held for 
many years. The original commission, in my possession, ap- 
points Oliver Forward, Charles Townsend, Samuel Wilkeson, 
Gideon Frisby and Samuel Russell, judges of the county of Nia- 
gara; and among the justices for the territory of what is now Erie 
county, appear the names of James Cronk, afterwards sheriff, 
Joshua Henshaw and Jonathan Bowen, of YVillink; Seth Abbott 
and Silas Patrick, of Hamburgh; Amos Smith and John Hill, 
of Eden; Frederick Richmond, of Concord; James Sheldon, 
Ezra St. John and Alexander Hitchcock, of Buffalo; and Otis 
R. Hopkins, of Clarence; men who were prominently identified 
with the early history of our county. 

For many years Judge Forward was a director of the Bank 
of Niagara, and at one time was called upon by all interested 
in the bank to take the position of cashier, which he accepted; 
the expectation being that his name and influence might, in 
some way, retrieve the fortunes of that institution. 

Early in j S 1 7 , Judge Forward, then being collector of the 
port, was authorized by the treasury department to purchase a 
site for a light-house; and, after some negotiations with Joseph 
Ellicott, the ajjent of the Holland Land Company, selected the 
point where the residence o\ the light-house keener now stands, 
that being, .it the time, as stated in the correspondence, near 


the outlet of Buffalo creek. The price paid was three hundred 
and fifty dollars, which was advanced by him in order to hasten 
the negotiation; and contracts were let for the building of the 
light-house, and an adjacent building for the residence of the 
keeper. His letter of December 26th, 1818, to the department, 
states, that in obedience to directions received by him, he had 
notified Mr. John E. Skaats of his appointment as keeper, and 
that in pursuance thereof he had taken charge of it without a 
moment's delay. He also adds, that the light-house and build- 
ing were completed on the first of the preceding November, 
and, as a light was at that time an important aid in navigating 
the lake, he had employed Mr. George YV. Fox to take charge 
until a keeper was appointed. These incidents are only men- 
tioned as being matters of local history, of sufficient moment 
to be recorded. 

The project of a grand canal, to unite the waters of Lake 
Erie with those of the Hudson river at Albany, began in those 
years to receive universal attention. The citizens of Buffalo, 
at an early day, appreciated the importance of their village, 
with reference to its being the proper and natural western ter- 
minus of the canal. Naturally enough, they looked forward 
with solicitude to the accomplishment of this event, which 
would render this place the Emporium of tire West. After the 
determination of the state authorities that the canal should 
be constructed, and which was not arrived at until after a 
struggle, great and powerful influences, not only in the canal 
board, but of some of the most distinguished politicians on the 
frontier, were at work to locate the termination at Black Rock. 
That seemed to be the place designed by nature, being the 
very outlet of the lakes, and so situated upon the Niagara river 
that a safe and commodious harbor, when reached, was pro- 
vided for all the commerce that could ever float upon our 
inland seas. This view was taken by*rnanv disinterested per- 
sons in authority, and strongly urged by Peter 15. Porter and 
others who had made large investments at Black Rock, and 


whose political influence was commanding. The only way the 
argument could be met, was by actual demonstration that a 
harbor, easier of access and equally commodious, could be 
created at Buffalo. It must be remembered, that the mouth of 
Buffalo creek was generally closed by a bar of sand, and ves- 
sels never entered, but received and discharged their cargoes 
from lighters. Few believed that any means could be devised 
whereby an entrance could be created, which could be relied 
upon for durability; and if this was so, no reasonable hope 
could be entertained that the canal would be extended to this 
point. The history of that crisis, in which the subject of our 
memoir was so conspicuous an actor, has been told in the 
sketches furnished by Judge Wilkeson to the Buffalo Commer- 
cial Advertiser, the main features of which will more faithfully 
relate it, than the effort of any one now living. 

In April, 181S, at the instance of the citizens of Buffalo, an 
act of the legislature was/passed, authorizing the survey of the 
creek at the expense of the County of Niagara, which then em- 
braced it, with reference to determining the feasibility of con- 
structing a harbor; and William Peacock made the survey in 
the following summer, gratuitously. Although the report was 
favorable, neither the general government nor the State would 
assume the work. But the latter, in 1819, by law agreed to 
loan twelve thousand dollars for its construction, on being 
secured by band and mortgage for its re-payment. 

Oliver Forward, Charles Townsend, George Coit and Samuel 
Wilkeson gave the requisite* security in the earl) - part of 1S20; 
and the pier was forthwith commenced. It was prosecuted 
and finished under the supervision of Judge Wilkeson, in 1821, 
in two hundred and twenty-one working days, and extended 
into the lake for about eight)' rods, into twelve foot water. 
Ever) person in the place seems to have been agitated by, and 
to have participated in the projected improvement, and it was 
-carried forward earnestly, and with that rare determination 
which bends to no adverse circumstances, and always wins sue- 


cess or glory. Discouragements clustered around them in vain. 
It seems marvelous that such an undertaking was persevered in, 
amid the jeers of neighbors and the buffets of adversity, by the 
people of an inconsiderable town, who were not aided by exper- 
ience, nor stimulated by the eye of general observation. The 
narrative is worthy of DeFoe. The make-shifts and substitutes 
for the unattainable machinery they needed, were most ingen- 
ious. And, though they encountered gravel where sand only 
was supposed to be, and storms often jeopardized and sometimes 
nearly destroyed their labors, they were not to be deterred. 
When all seemed successfully completed, the first steam- 
boat of the lakes, the \Valk-in-the-water, having been lost, and 
her owners having determined to build a second, — the old Su- 
perior, — the building of it was nearly secured to Black Rock 
and lost to Buffalo, and was gained for the latter only by the 
giving of a stringent judgment bond by nearly all its respon- 
sible citizens, conditioned to pay to the steamboat company 
one hundred and fifty dollars for every day's detention of the 
boat in the creek after the first of May, by harbor obstruction. 
The boat was built in our creek in 1822, and ready to enter 
the lake in the spring of 1823. The completion of the harbor, 
such as it was, had given force to the general considerations in 
favor of continuing the canal to Buffalo; and the decision of 
the canal board to that effect was published in the report of 
1823, to the great joy of its careworn and anxious Inhabitants. 
But their joy was damped, and they were suddenly summoned 
to a renewal of their labors. The spring freshet, which was to 
perfect the harbor entrance by expelling all obstructions and 
thus give egress to the Su/tt'rwr, encountered a huge body of 
anchored ice, and being repelled by it, formed an eddy, and 
whirled large beds of sand and grave] into the channel, reduc- 
ing its depth to three feet and a half, for a full hundred jrards. 
And yet, on the first day of May, the voluntary subsi riptions 
and exertions of the citizens had re-upened it, and the 5 ~ 
N floated through, into the lake; the bond \ms cancelled, and the 


title of Buffalo to consideration as the future great City of the 
Lakes, was established. 

Before this was accomplished, it was evident that some mas- 
ter mind must be selected to represent our village in the 
councils of the State at Albany; and, in 181 9, Oliver Forward 
was elected to the assembly, as a delegate from the district 
containing Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Niagara counties; in 
which latter, Erie county was then embraced. He entered the 
house at a period of great political excitement. The project 
of the Erie canal was not then fully determined, and was op- 
posed by the elements then arrayed, with bitter hostility, against 
l)e Witt Clinton, the friend and champion of the measure. 
Judge Forward, as was expected, sustained the canal policy 
with great zeal and influence, and with that effective and 
patient policy which was characteristic of his nature. He was 
the compeer of great men in that remarkable session. John 
C. Spencer was speaker; and such men as Elisha Williams, of 
Hudson, Peter Schuyler, of Albany, Erastus Root, of Delaware, 
Abraham Bockes and Thomas J. Oakley, of Dutchess, Nathan- 
iel Merriam, of Lewis, Jonas Earll, Jr., of Onondaga, and John 
A. King, of Queens, renowned as statesmen and orators and 
jurists, exercised commanding influence. Not only in the leg- 
islature was Judge Forward enabled to sustain the canal policy 
with success, but he labored with the officers of State, and with 
all men whose support was of moment. His correspondence 
reached all quarters, freighted with arguments and persuasions 
such as a man of superior -intellect and a judicial turn of mind 
could adduce in favor of the great work; and his record was of 
such a character, that his constituents determined to retain him 
at Albany, and he was elected senator in the spring of 1S20. 
Then came the session of the senate in the fall of 1820, and the 
sessions of 1S21 and [822, during which he maintained a con- 
spicuous position, and faithfully accomplished the great objects 
of his mission. It is not too much to say of his course in the 
state legislature, that, upon every occasion, he was found to be 


the warm supporter of all measures that appeared to be for the 
general public good, and which promoted the cause of morality 
and education, and the interests of the industrial classes. 
More effectual as a writer than as a debater, his sound judg- 
ment and the power of urging his opinions made his counsels 
influential; and his great integrity prevailed, where more bril- 
liant men would hav. met with disappointment. 

The canal board, in 1823, finally decided upon continuing 
the canal to Buffalo; and when the harbor was completed in 
May of that year, as before related, the great work of fixing the 
destiny of this city was accomplished. It is useless to speak 
of our obligations to such men as Forward, and Wilkeson, and 
Townsend, and Coit, and others of our citizens who labored 
incessantly, and at the peril of all their property, to ensure 
that result. We acknowledge them with gratitude; and though 
the tale of their patient labors and untiring efforts may be 
thrice told, we should never weary in the recital. 

At the close of the session of 1822, on his return to Buffalo, 
Judge Forward was again elected chairman of the board of 
trustees of the village, as a mark of confidence and respect; in 
which position he continued to exercise his watchful care over 
the growing interests of the place. He was re-elected a trus- 
tee of the village, at the annual elections in 1823 and 1824, 
and chosen chairman of the board; that being the highest posi- 
tion his fellow-citizens could confer upon him. 

The contract for constructing the section of the canal from 
Little Buffalo creek to' Black Rock having been entered into, 
and preparations made for actually commencing the work, the 
Occasion was deemed by the citizens here to be i)\ so much 
moment, that it was resolved it should be celebrated by proper 
formalities. Friday, August 9th, [822, was the day appointed 
by the contractors to commence their labors; ami on that day 
the citizens of our village and of the adjacent country united 
in the very interesting ceremonies so appropriate to the occa- 
sion. Thev assembed at the Kas*le tavern, about nine o'clock. 


and marched in handsome order through the village, preceded 
by martial music, to the place where the canal was to termin- 
ate, and first to receive into its bosom the waters of Lake Erie. 
This point was where the Commercial street bridge now stands. 
Here the national flag was hoisted, and a cannon planted upon 
an eminence at a little distance from the interesting spot. 

When order had been restored, the Rev. Mr. Squires, the 
Presbyterian clergyman of the place, addressed the Throne of 
Grace in a prayer peculiarly appropriate; after which the Rev. 
Mr. Galusha, in a short, but neat and animated speech, referred 
to the importance of the work then to be inaugurated, and pre- 
dicted great results therefrom. Then the ceremony of break- 
ing ground was performed by several of the oldest citizens of 
the place. Judge Forward, as the chairman of the board of 
trustees and the representative of the village, planted the first 
spade in the earth and raised the first soil, and then Colonel 
Chapin, Judge Barker and Judge Walden joined, after which 
all the principal citizens, and many respectable strangers, with 
plows and spades, united in the commencement of the grand 
canal. The procession then moved down the line of the canal 
about half a mile, where the citizens partook of the hospitality 
of the contractors, and then, returning, finally dispersed, amid 
resounding cheers. A contemporary writer says, thru on this 
interesting occasion all were united in the same interest, the 
same feeling, the same sentiment. Clintonians and Buck tails, 
the Kremlin aristocracy and those opposed, democrats and 
federalists, all joined hands and exchanged fraternal congratu- 
lations. Political feuds and animosities were lost in the gran- 
deur of the scene, and nothing was heard but (me universal 
expression of heartfelt approbation. 

In the fall of the year 1825, the canal was fully completed. 
and it only remained to dedicate it to the world, by ceremonies 
suitable to the occasion. Committees of conference on the 
part of \e\v York and Albany taking the lend, a general plan 
of celebration was agreed upon and concurred in. by a conter- 


ence of committees of Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo. An 
important feature in the general arrangements for the celebra- 
tion, was the stationing of cannon from Buffalo to Sandy Hook, 
to announce the departure of the first boat from Lake Erie to 
tide-water, and to answer the purpose of a continuous salute. 
On the evening of the twenty-fifth of October, 1825, the entire 
canal, from Buffalo to Albany, was in a navigable condition. 
Buffalo, then a village of only twenty-five hundred inhabitants, 
from its position at the head of navigation, was, of course, to 
lead off in the ceremonies, and well did the germ of a now 
great city acquit itself. The New York committee that arrived 
here on the evening of the twenty-fifth, stated, in their report, 
that they found everything in readiness for the commencement 
of the celebration. At nine o'clock on the morning of the 
twenty-sixth of October, a procession was formed in front of 
the court-house. It consisted of the governor and lieutenant- 
governor of the state, the Xevv York delegation, delegations 
from villages along the whole line of the canal, various societies 
of mechanics with appropriate banners, and citizens generally; 
the whole escorted 'by the Buffalo band, and Captain Rath- 
bun's rifle company. The procession moved down Main street 
to the head of the canal, where the pioneer boat, the Seneca 
Chief, was in waiting. The governor and lieutenant-governor, 
and the committees, including that of Buffalo, were received 
on board. The whole, standing upon the deck, united in 
mutual introductions and congratulations. Jesse Hawlev. in 
behalf of the Rochester committee, made a short address, which 
was properly replied to by Judge Forward, on behalf of the 
authorities and citizens of Buffalo. All things being in readi- 
ness the signal gun was tired, and continuing from gun to gun, 
in succession, in one hour ami twenty minutes the citizens of 
Xew York were apprised that a boat was departing from the 
foot of Lake Erie, and was on its \vay, traversing a new path 
to the Atlantic ocean. The Seneca Chief led off in Unc style, 
drawn l>\ four gray horses, fancifully caparisoned. Three 


boats, the Perry, Superior and Buffalo, followed, and the fleet 
moved from the dock under a salute from the rifle company, 
accompanied by music from the band. The procession then 
moved to the court-house, where an address was delivered by 
Sheldon Smith, Esq., and a public dinner succeeded; the fes- 
tivities of the day being closed by a splendid ball at the Eagle 

The correspondence of Judge Forward with Governor Clin- 
ton and other distinguished men of our state, from 1818 to 
1826, in regard to the canal policy, and also as to its termination 
here, and as to our harbor, and the letters to him in answer, 
have, in part, been preserved, and show that he was constantly 
urging the fair consideration of the claims of our village, and 
setting forth all the arguments and facts that could be adduced 
in support of those measures. At this day, surrounded with 
all the evidences of wealth and civilization, one rises from the 
perusal of such papers, almost with a doubt that it could be 
possible, that, but little more than fifty years ago, the great 
men of the time were fearful lest the work would never be 
accomplished. It seems more like some fairy tale than a reality, 
and illustrates on every page the patriotism and devotion of 
those who so successfully carried the measure to a conclusion. 
In all this correspondence, it appears that Governor Clinton 
was at all times friendly to. the interests of Buffalo, as against 
Black Rock; believing that this point was in every way better 
adapted to be the Emporium of the Lakes; and, as one of the 
canal board, lent his powerful influence in support of the claims 
of our citizens. 

These "relations of the history of the Erie canal, have been 
given for the reason, that the life and labors of Oliver Forward 
were for so many years directed to the accomplishment of that 
great work. How earnestly, and with what self-denial, he de- 
voted his services to that end; how patfently, but firmly, he 
encountered the determined opposition of rival and powerful 
interests, with arguments and persuasions in place o\ invectives; 



with what statesmanlike abilities he made use of political power, 
are matters that have almost been forgotten in our generation. 
But, when cotemporaneous history is examined, and the pub- 
lic journals of the time and private papers and correspondence 
consulted, it will be found that he was one of the most active 
and influential men of his day, and contributed as much as any 
other to the success of measures which laid the foundation of 
the opulence and splendor of our city. 

In the year 1825, it will be remembered, General La Fayette 
visited this country, and was received as the nation's guest 
with the most distinguished consideration. He arrived at this 
place from the west, on the steamboat Superior, on the fourth 
day of June, 1S25, and, as Judge Forward was the one who 
addressed him on behalf of our citizens, it is proper to recall 
this item of local history, by giving the account published in a 
paper of that time. 

" General La Fayette arrived in this village on Saturday, about two o'clock 
in the afternoon, and was immediately escorted to the Eagle Tavern, by a 
detachment of Captain Yoslmrgh's company of cavalry, and the Frontier 
Guards under Captain Kathlum. lie was preceded by the committee of 
arrangements and his suite. On his arrival, he was conducted with his suite, 
by the committee, to an elegant pavilion, erected in front of the house, where 
he was met by the corporation; in whose behalf, and that of the citizens of 
the village, Oliver Forward, Esq., addressed him, as follows: 

"Gkxf.RAL — In behalf of the citizens of this village and its vicinity, I 
have the honor of welcoming you among them, and of tendering you that regard, 
which has been again and again reiterated from the center to the remotest ex- 
tremities of the Union. This regard we are unable to testify to you, amidst the 
splendor and magnificence of a state or national Emporium; hut. to you, we 
are aware, it will not he less acceptable, if presented in the unimposing 
forms of republican -implicit). We are not less mindful than are the whole 
people of this extended I'm pi re, of the services you have rendered our common 
country, nor le^s conscious of the gratification the patriot and the philanthro- 
pist must feel in passing the declivities of life, carrying with him the richest 
of all earthly reward, — a nation's gratitude. l>ut lew of u> were among 
those who participated with you in the toik and danger- of the revolution 
which e>ia!>li-hcd not only the liberties of the confederacy, but what the 


world had never before seen, a welcome, a happy and a protected home for 
the oppressed of all nations. But we alike revere the memory of the brave, 
and cherish with the same zeal, the principles for which you and our fathers 
bled; and, with all the grateful recollections which a love of liberty can in- 
spire, of the voluntary ,>acrifices you have made in the support of her cause, 
we beg you to accept the humble tribute of our respect, in conjunction with 
what has been and will continue to be proffered, not only by every citizen of 
the American nation, but by every friend of liberty and of mankind." 

It may well be questioned whether a more dignified and 
happy address was presented to La Fayette during his sojourn 
in this country. 

The narrative further states, that a suitable reply to Judge 
Forward was made, and at five o'clock the General and com- 
pany sat down to an excellent dinner, provided by Mr. Rath' Mm ; 
the evening was spent pleasantly, and the village handsomely 

The last public services of Judge Forward were rendered i 1 : 
the solicitation of the citizens of buffalo, in connection with a 
revision of the charter. The city was organized in the spring 
of 1832; but it was soon evident that in order to subserve 
the public interests to the desired degree, an extension of 
many of the powers granted was needed. On behalf of the 
citizens generally, a committee of fifteen was appointed at 
a meeting called to consider the matters in question, of whom 
Judge Forward was one, as a representative from die first 
ward, and the common council added five aldermen to the 
committee. He was elected chairman by common consent, 
and the labors of the committee were extended through the 
year. During this time, many important provisions were orig- 
inated, !md many revised and improved, and a foundation laid 
for a charter that gave ample power to preserve public order, 
regulate and improve the highways, and establish our common 
schools. The last named subject was one that greatly inter- 
ested Judge Forward. One of lbs papers 'refers particularly to 
this matter, and a few extracts from it may well be presented 
as an illustration of the vigor and terseness of his style, at the 


same time illustrating with what thoughtfulness and ability he 
considered questions of public moment. He says: 

"At the request of intelligent and respectable citizens, I have prepared a 
series of numbers, addressed to the mayor and common council of the city of 
Buffalo, upon the subject of various improvements in said city, and also upon 
the subject of powers granted by the charter, which, by construction, may be 
made too extensive, and are consequently too unguarded and indefinite in 
their character. In addition to this, I have taken a brief view of powers, 
which shoidd be granted by a legislative act, to more effectually preserve 
public order, and to make more extensive, permanent and accommodating 
provisions for the support of common schools. That our city charter may be 
beneficially improved, b) salutary additions and improvements, there can be 
no doubt in the mind of any intelligent man, who will take upon himself the 
trouble of carefully examining its provisions, and after a full consideration of 
the subject, I have no doubt that, without adding to the public burdens, a 
city fund may be provided for the- education of the poor in common schools, 
which should be under the control of the city authorities. I cannot forbear 
remarking that the subject of common schools is one of vital importance to 
the interests of the whole community. In them, the children of the poor are 
educated, — indeed, they are general sources of early instruction, and upon 
them will depend, in a great measure, the morals and the intelligence of each 
succeeding generation." , 

But the time had almost come when the labors of Oliver 
Forward were to cease. In the summer of 1832, he suffered 
from an attack of cholera, and never recovered his physical 
strength, but gradually failed, until he died in April, 1833; thus 
closing a life which had been almost entirely devoted to the 
public service. 

Mrs. Forward December, 1S31, and, of several chil- 
dren, one only is now living — Mrs. Julia M. Sterling — the 
wife of Ambrose S. Sterling, a former merchant of this city. 
Several of the brothers of Judge Forward have been distin- 
guished in our national councils. Walter Forward, of Pitts- 
burg, was well known as one of the first lawyers of his State, 
and served his constituents as a representative in Congress, in 
1822. In 1837, he bore a prominent part in the Pennsylvania 
convention to reform the state constitution. In March, 1S41, 


President Harrison named him first comptroller of the treasury, 
which post he held until he was appointed secretary of the 
treasury by President Tyler. On retiring from that position 
he resumed his practice at the bar, until appointed by President 
Taylor as minister to Denmark; and, on his return home, was 
made president judge of the district court, which office he held 
at the time of his death, in 1852. 

Chauncey Forward was born February 4th, 1793, and went 
to Pittsburg about 1S09, with his brother Walter, where he was 
educated and became a lawyer, and settled at Somerset, Penn- 
sylvania. He was a member of the state legislature, and also 
of Congress for three terms, from 1825 to 1831. , One of his 
daughters married Hon. Jeremiah S. Black, who was the attor- 
ney-general during the administration of President Buchanan. 
Rennssalear and Dryden, two younger brothers, were educated 
for the bar, and gave great promise of future excellence, but 
untimely deaths prevented the realization of the high hopes 
entertained by their friends. 

In preparing this memorial, use has been made of the con- 
temporary newspapers, which are generally reliable in their 
statements of facts, and of Turner s History of the Holland 
Purchase; as well as a remarkably well-written paper com- 
piled by the lamented Guy H. Salisbury, contained in the 
Directory of 1847. Particular obligation is due to Rev. James 
Remington, of Lancaster, in this county, the father of our 
county clerk, who was the brother-in-law of Judge Forward, 
and intimately associated with him from about the year 1811, 
for mr.ny years, in the discharge of the duties of the public 
offices held by him, and who has furnished many particulars 
of which no record existed. 

In person, Judge Forward was of medium stature, but portly; 
of grave and dignified presence; one whose imposing appear- 
ance would have been marked in any assembly of men. His 
mind was judicial in its tone and character; always calm and 



temperate, dealing with facts and seeking by logical methods 
to convince others; modest as to self-assertion, but firm and 
resolute in seeking the ends and purposes he knew were right 
and justifiable. Above all, he had that mastery of those with 
whom he became associated, which compelled acquiescence in 
his opinions; and the gift of wisely marshalling the abilities of 
others who joined with him in the prosecution of important 
purposes. He guided the energies of one and availed himself 
of the acquirements of another; the learning of one and the 
influence of another were made to contribute to success, while 
all looked to him for wise and prudent counsel. 

The life of Oliver Forward is but another illustration of the 
f act that it is to circumstances beyond his control, more than to 
lis own works, that a man is generally indebted for his position, 
and for the character of the memories that survive him. Had 
he laid the foundation of a fortune in this city, and died, sur- 
rounded by a large circle of descendants and relatives who 
might now worthily represent his name and wealth, how much 
larger a place in public remembrance would he have filled! Let 
us not withhold the due tributes of respect and gratitude. 
Rather let us, by the memorial of his life, preserve the just 
record of his fame, so that his name and acts and deeds, so in- 
di-Sbolubly connected with our welfare and prosperity, may 
continue to be the objects of public regard. 





Having been invited to present to you some facts and recol- 
lections in regard to the introduction of Grain Elevators at this 
port, I would respectfully submit the following: 

This subject has a bearing, not only on the citizens of this 
community, but also upon an immensely larger number of peo- 
ple, whose grain productions are sent, and whose bread supplies 
are received through our hands. In fact, whatever facilitates 
the movement of bread-stuffs, directly affects one of the first 
interests of mankind. It might, perhaps, be said, that the ready 
production of food is a question of greater importance than its 
easy transportation. The first great care of men commonly, is 
to produce food, not to know what to do with it when produced. 
The road from hand to mouth is short and easy enough with 
men at first, but as society grows, and division of labor is made, 
producers and consumers of food become widely separated, 
and the question of transportation becomes exceedingly impor- 
tant. When the hands of producers and the mouths of con- 
sumers are distant by the space of half a continent and even 

* Diet!, September 28th, 1879, in his 81st year. 


half a globe, the road from hand to mouth is a long one, and 
oftentimes "a hard road to travel." Whatever smooths the 
roughness of that road cheapens food, and benefits mankind. 

Some of the first inventors have devoted themselves to the 
various questions which this important interest has raised. It 
is somewhat noticeable that the three great mechanical minds 
who gave to our country, near the commencement of the pres- 
ent century, so great an impulse, not only in the leading 
mechanic arts, but, also, through them, almost every material 
and moral interest of the land and the world, — Fulton, Whitney 
and Evans, — appear to have been chiefly useful in the three 
great interests of transportation, clothing and food. To the 
question of transportation, Robert Fulton directed his thoughts, 
and 'by one stroke of success, he shortened the length of all 
rivers, and the width of all seas and lakes, and brought pro- 
ducers and consumers everywhere into easy and cheap com- 
munication, as we see to-day in the rapidity with which grain 
is hastened forward across our lakes to the waiting and hungry 
East. Eli Whitney, by the invention of the "cotton gin," made 
the culture of upland cotton profitable, thus giving a new staple 
to near half a continent, and greatly cheapening the fabric 
most used as clothing throughout the world. 

Oliver Evans, who deserves a place by the side of these distin- 
guished men, was the person, who, more than any other man, 
simplified and perfected the processes by which grain is con- 
verted into food. Among his valuable improvements for the 
manufacture of flour, were the Elevator and Conveyor, inven- 
tions designed only for use in flouring mills, but which have 
-been adapted, by an improvement originating here, for the easy 
and rapid transfer of grain in its movement towards a market. 
The F^levator and Conveyor thus applied, arc the simple means 
by which the immense and innumerable cargoes of grain, con- 
stantly arriving at this port, are readily transferred from vosscl> 
into canal-boats or cars, and quickly sent forward on their east- 
ern course. It is now in use for this purpose at all the principal 


grain depots in the land, and has become absolutely essential 
to the economical handling of large quantities of grain. 

Before stating, as far as I can, the way in which this new 
application of the Elevator came to be made, it may not be 
inappropriate to present some facts in regard to the first intro- 
duction of the Elevator into mills. 

Prior to 1785, the universal custom in manufacturing flour, 
was to take the meal, as it came from the mill-stones, and hoist 
it into the bolting room by hand. The* flour was also taken 
from the bolt to the drying and packing rooms in the same 
way. In 181 2, when there was an effort to set aside Mr. Evans' 
claim, as the inventor of the Elevator, Mr. Niles, editor of 
JViles' Weekly Register, stated that the practice in his boyhood, 
at the celebrated Brandywine mills at Wilmington, Delaware, 
near which place he was born and spent his boyhood, was to 
hoist the meal to the bolt, in the upper part of the building, in 
large tubs, by means of a rope and pulley worked by hand. 
A man was also required to feed the hopper which supplied 
the bolt. In this way, every single step in the process of flour- 
ing grain required separate attendance, and also involved in 
the frequent handling of the flour in such cumbrous methods, 
considerable loss by waste. 

In 1780, Oliver Evans completed his apprenticeship and 
joined his brothers, who were carrying on a small mill. He 
had already shown great taste for mechanical pursuits, study- 
ing by night by the light of burning shavings when refused 
candles by his employer, and preparing himself, by thorough 
mastery of his trade, to write, as he did some years afterwards, 
" The Young Miller s Guide and Mill-wrighfs Companion" a 
book which is still a standard work on the matters of which 
it treats. It was not long after he commenced business, before 
he had completed the several improvements in mill machinery, 
on which his fame chiefly rests. Among 'these, as already 
stated, was the Elevator, a simple apparatus with which all are 
now familiar, consisting merely of a series of buckets attached 


to a leather or canvas and rubber belt revolving upon pulleys. 
At the time already mentioned, when the attempt was made to 
break Mr. Evans' claim as patentee of the Elevator, it was 
alleged that a Mr. Stroud, a neighbor of Mr. Evans, was the 
originator of it, and that it was suggested to his mind, by ob- 
serving that a buckle of a band in a wheat cleaner, caught up, on 
each revolution, and carried over with it a few kernels of grain. 
On enquiry, however, it was ascertained that Mr. Stroud never 
thought of an Elevator till Mr. Evans had talked with him on 
the subject, and that Mr. Evans assured him of the possibility 
of the thing, before the time when the action of the buckle on 
the cleaner strap had been observed. 

Another of the improvements, introduced at the same time, 
was the Conveyor, for removing flour or grain in a horizontal 
direction, to the point where the elevator or bolt could receive 
it. Mr. Evans also contrived a very ingenious and almost 
automatic process, by which the flour was kept in motion and* 
exposed to the air till thoroughly dry and ready for packing. 
Previously the custom had been to kiln-dry the grain, making 
the husk so brittle, that in grinding it became mixed with the 
meal, and the small particles would pass through the superfine 
bolt with the flour. By these various improvements it was 
estimated that the saving, in the increased yield of superfine 
flour from a given quantity of grain, amounted to fifty cents 
on every barrel of flour produced. 

And yet it is remarkable with what extreme difficulty Mr. 
Evans brought his inventions into general use. He traveled 
through Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, offer- 
ing his improvements gratis to the first party in each county who 
would introduce them, and found scarcely an individual will- 
ing to accept his offers. The question usually asked him was, 
"Have your neighbors, the Brandywine millers, adopted them?" 
He was obliged to say c - No," which generally finished his 
prospects for securing a trial. After long importunity a dele- 
gation of these millers waited on Mr. Evans, and gave him 


their reply in the following words: "Oliver, we have had a 
meeting, and agreed if thou wilt furnish all the materials, and 
thy own boarding, and come thyself to set up thy machinery 
in one of our mills, thee may come and try it, and if it answers 
a valuable purpose we will pay thy bill; but if it does not 
answer, thee must take it all out again, and leave the mill just 
as thee finds it, at thine own expense." 

They knew he was too poor to comply with their terms. 

When he had introduced his improvements into his own mill, 
and they were working so admirably that he could tend it 
easier alone than he had done before with two men and a boy, 
he invited these millers to come and see his inventions work. 
It happened the day they came he was engaged not only in 
tending his mill alone, but also in making hay in an adjoining 
clover lot. As he saw the company approaching, he quietly 
withdrew to his meadow and went to work with his hay. He 
thought, when his visitors went into the mill and saw it in full 
operation, cleaning, grinding and" bolting, and no human hand 
near, they would be convinced his improvements were of some 
use. They went over the mill by themselves, and then came 
out to him with the request that he would go in and explain 
the process. He went in with them, but took care to say it 
was " an uncommon busy day " with him, as he had to tend 
mill and make hay too. He showed them his mill, however, 
and, as the account states, " they saw that the Elevators and 
Conveyors brought the meal from the two pairs of stones, and 
the flour from the bolts to the apparatus called the hopper-boy, 
which spread it over the floor, stirring, fanning and gathering 
it, and attending to the bolting hoppers at the same time, with- 
out the help of a single hand, in any part of the process;" and 
when the inventor expected they would believe the testimony 
of their own eyes, one of them exclaimed, " It will not do, it 
cannot do, it is impossible that it should do." The delegation 
went off, and reported that "the whole contrivance was a set 
of rattle traps, not worth the notice of men of common sense." 


A few years afterwards, when it was proved in Ell icon's mills, 
near Baltimore, which turned out three hundred and twenty- 
five barrels of flour a day, that Mr. Evans' improvements made 
a saving of some five thousand dollars a year, in cost of attend- 
ance, and of fifty cents a barrel in increased yield of superfine 
flour, amounting in that one mill in a single year, to over thirty- 
seven thousand dollars clear saving, the Brandy wine millers con- 
cluded that their neighbor's "set of rattle traps" had rather an 
agreeable rattle after all. But no sooner was the immense 
value of these improvements manifest, than these same men 
combined to destroy Mr. Evans' claim as the patentee; and 
when, after oppressive litigation, the inventor's rights were sus- 
tained, these liberal gentlemen contrived to avoid responsibility 
themselves, and a comparatively poor man, whom they had 
adroitly put forward, was left to pay the bill, to whom Mr. 
Evans, from motives of humanity, remitted nearly half the 

While Mr. Evans was struggling to introduce his Elevator, 
as an improvement in the manufacture of flour, on the banks 
of the Delaware, about the year 1785, he had little idea, that 
at Buffalo creek, in the distant wilderness, at the foot of Lake 
Erie, then without a white inhabitant on its banks, the wants 
of a vast trade, at that time entirely unknown, would give rise, 
some fifty years later, to a new application of his Elevator, and 
that another effort would then be necessary, in order to intro- 
duce it, as z. commercial rather than a manufacturing appliance, 
for facilitating the transhipment of grain. 

In noticing this new use of the Elevator, it is worthy of re- 
mark, that some of the most useful inventions have not been 
discoveries of new principles or methods of mechanical action, 
but new applications of methods and principles already known. 
Some inventions consist of entirely new ideas. Such was Ark- 
wright's invention of spinning b„y rollers; a thing probably 
never thought Of in the history of the world, till it entered his 
mind. Such were some of James Watt's discoveries in per- 


fecting the steam engine. The invention of the high-pressure 
steam engine by Oliver Evans, who has been styled the "Watt 
of America," was another instance of a new principle, success- 
fully introduced. 

But, on the other hand, Fulton's steamboat involved no new 
principle. It Was only a new application of a force already 
familiar. So Evans' Elevator was an old idea. In the efforts 
which were made to dispossess him of the fruits of his improve- 
ments, it was successfully shown that the idea of raising substan- 
ces by a revolving chain of buckets, was not original with him, 

Thomas Jefferson wrote a very learned paper against Evans, 
in which he quoted from ancient scientific books, showing that 
this was a method of lifting which had come down from a very 
remote antiquity. Travelers in Egypt had seen rude wheels 
revolving on the banks of the Nile, over which passed ropes 
hung with buckets, lifting water for the irrigation of the soil. 
Mr. Jefferson argued that it made no difference in principle, 
that the ancient Elevators consisted of circular buckets, strung 
through their centers, on a connecting rope or chain. The at- 
tachment of the cups to a leather strap was not deserving a 
patent, for a strip of hempen webbing would do as well. Nor 
was it material, that Mr. Evans' Elevator was used to raise 
wheat and fiour, rather than water; for, in that case, Mr. Jef- 
ferson argued, it would require a new patent, if anyone should 
use an Elevator to lift corn or peas, and should claim a sole 
right to that use. It was also proven that a Mr. Martin, of 
Maryland, had actually constructed, and some time used a 
grain Elevator attached to a seed-planter, and consisting of a 
leather strap, one and a half inches wide, armed with little 
thimble-like cups, each lifting three or four kernels of seed, 
and carrying them over the upper roller, eighteen inches 
higher than the lower one, and dropping them regularlv into 
the furrow in the soil, over which the plantei was drawn. 

Vet the ingenuity and learning of Mr. Jefferson, and of the 
wealthy millers who sought his aid, failed to invalidate Mr. 


Evans' rights as a patentee. It was justly held, that though the 
Elevator was not a new idea, Evans was the first person who 
had made a successful application of it to the manufacture of 
flour, and his right to the sole use of that application was sus- 
tained. An inventor's merit consists not merely in conceiving 
an idea of a machine, but also in overcoming the practical diffi- 
culties in its successful operation. 

Robert Fulton's fame as a benefactor to his race is not de- 
stroyed by showing that other men were before him in propel- 
ling boats by steam. Nearly twenty years before Fulton 
succeeded, James Rumsey moved a steamboat on the Potomac, 
near Sheppardstown, at the rate of five miles an hour. John 
Fitch, at Philadelphia, about the same time, built a steamboat 
which ran eight miles an hour. But Fitch's power was applied 
by upright paddles worked at the sides of the boat, and Rum- 
sey took in a charge of water through an opening in the keel, 
and shot it out again near the rudder, after the manner of a 
syringe. Fulton's application of steam to paddle-wheels was 
the first practical success in this line. 

In view of such facts as these, the statement is made with 
some confidence, that the first practical success in handling 
grain by machinery for commercial purposes, a success which 
was attained in this city, was a step in advance. 

It was a step in advance, because it was an entirely new use 
of the Elevator. It was not new to raise grain into a mill by 
an Elevator. This had been done from wagons, near fifty years 
previous to the erection of my Elevator, in 1842-3. I am in- 
formed, by our worthy townsman, Mr. John T. Noye, that, in 
^824, his father rented a flouring mill on Bronx river, near 
King's Bridge, New York, for the manufacture of flour; attached 
to which was an Elevator for the unloading of grain from 
vessels, for the use of the mill. Mr. Noye thinks this mill was 
erected about ten or twelve years previous to its occupation by 
his father. But the commercial Elevator grew out of the wants 
of the grain-shipping interests of this port. 


It was not till after 1830, that grain, in any considerable 
quantities, began to pass through this place to the markets of 
the East; and, in 1835, at which time Ohio was the only state 
sending us grain, the entire annual receipts were only one hun- 
dred and twelve thousand bushels, including all kinds of grain. 
From that time, however, there began to be a very rapid in- 
crease, rising from half a million bushels in 1836, to near two 
million bushels in 1841; an increase of four hundred per cent. 
in five years. It began to be evident that there was to be a 
very speedy and immense increase in the future grain business 
of this port. It seemed to me, as I reflected on the amazing 
extent of the grain producing regions of the Prairie West, and 
the favorable position of Buffalo for receiving their products, 
that the eastward movements of grain through this port, would 
soon exceed anything the boldest imagination had conceived. 

The report of Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles, Chairman of the 
Committee of Ways and Means, in the New York Assembly of 
1838, had spoken in the most hopeful and confident terms of 
the future growth of the West, and the commerce which was 
destined to be carried on through this state, to and from tide- 
water and the lakes. His language was deemed, by many, 
extravagant, and his ideas visionary. 

A series of letters in 1839, on internal improvements and 
the commerce of the West, by General Dearborn, of Massa- 
chusetts, temporarily residing in this city, took the same 
encouraging view. 

None of these statements, however, were equal to the results 
which a few years produced. Mr. Ruggles has since declared 
that hrs predictions, which were considered as extravagant, 
were considerably below his confident expectations, but that 
he did not dare to put his figures as high as he felt he might, 
and as time has since shown he could have done, for fear his 
views would be altogether rejected as unworthy of trust. These 
estimates of the growth of our inland commerce bring to mind 
the remark of Mr. Burke, on the population of the American 


Colonies, in 1775. "State the numbers as high as we will,"" 
said he, "while the debate continues, the exaggeration ends." 

It seemed very clear to me, that such an increasing trade 
demanded largely increased facilities for its accommodation at 
this point. 

Already, with the near two million bushels received in i84i r 
unavoidable delays in the transhipment at this port were fre- 
quent, and were the occasion of much vexation and expense. 
Up to this time, the universal method of transfer was to raise 
the grain from the hold of the vessel, in barrels, by tackle and 
block, to weigh it with hopper and scales swung over the hatch- 
way of the canal boat, or carry it into the warehouse hi bags or 
baskets, on men's shoulders. This method, even at this present 
day, is largely in use in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore and Boston, which illustrates the force of habit; as a 
small army of men may be seen with baskets on their shoul- 
ders, unloading vessels, at immense cost of muscle and time, 
to say nothing of pecuniary loss. Only ten or fifteen bushels 
were commonly weighed at a draft; and the most that could be 
accomplished in a day, with a full set of hands, was to transfer 
some eighteen hundred or two thousand bushels, and this only 
when the weather was fair. Everything was at a stand in bad 
weather; and, on an average, one-fourth of the time was lost by 
rain or high winds. The harbor was often crowded with ves- 
sels, waiting for a change of weather. In these circumstances, 
I determined, in 1841, to try steam power in the transfer of 
grain for commercial purposes. 

There were various obstacles to the successful execution of 
such a plan, and predictions of failure were somewhat freely 
expressed. I believed, however, that I could built a warehouse, 
of large capacity for storage, with an adjustible Elevator and 
Conveyors, to be worked by steam; and so arranged as to trans- 
fer grain from vessels to boats or bins, \\*ith cheapness and dis- 
patch. Amid many difficulties, discouragements and delays, I 
began the work of erecting the building on Buffalo creek, at the 


junction of the Evans' ship canal, in the autumn of 1842, on the 
spot where now stands the stately Elevator of Hon. D. S. Ben- 
nett, which has risen, Phcenix-like, from the ashes of its parent. 
Indeed, the building I then erected may perhaps be called the 
parent, not only of the Bennett Elevator, but of all others; for 
I believe it was the first steam transfer and storage Elevator in 
the world. It was the first successful application of the valu- 
able invention of Oliver Evans to the commercial purpose 
for which it is now extensively employed. It is, however, but 
justice to state, that an effort in this direction was made a short 
time previous, by Mahlon Kingman, Esq., then a forwarding 
merchant of this city, now deceased; and, that an Elevator 
designed to be operated by horse power, was constructed, in a 
warehouse previously built for ordinary storage purposes, on 
the Evans' ship canal; but I am informed by Mr. Charles W. 
Evans, whose warehouse was adjoining, that Mr. Kingman 
never unloaded a vessel with it, although he made the attempt. 
To illustrate his opinion, that the plan was impracticable, I will 
mention here, that a short time before my building was com- 
pleted, Mr. Kingman, in passing it, said to me in a familiar man- 
ner, tapping me on the shoulder: "Dart, I am sorry for you; 
I have been through that mill; it won't do; remember what I 
say; Irishmen's backs are the cheapest Elevators ever built." 
Soon after my Elevator was in operation, he came to me, about 
two or three o'clock in the afternoon, to get two canal-boats 
loaded that day. I reminded him of the speech he wished me 
to remember. His reply was — " Dart, I find I did not know it 

My experiment, from the very first working, was a decided 
and acknowledged success. Within a month after I started, a 
leading forwarder, who had confidently predicted that shippers 
could not afford to pay the charges of elevating by steam, 
came to me and offered double rates for accommodation, but 
my bins were all full. The groat saving of time by the use of 
the Elevator was immediately seen. To give an instance that 


occurs to my mind, the schooner John B. Skinner came into 
port, with four thousand bushels of wheat, early in the after- 
noon, and was discharged, received ballast of salt, and left the 
same evening; made her trip to Milan, Ohio, brought down a 
second cargo and discharged it; and, on her return to Milan, 
went out in company with vessels which came in with her on 
the first trip down, and which had but just succeeded in getting 
rid of their freight in the old way. In this case, the freight 
work of two vessels was done by one, and instances approach- 
ing this have not been uncommon. It had been said that 
eight hundred bushels an hour was the extent to which an 
Elevator could be driven, and grain correctly weighed. 1 
began with buckets twenty-eight inches apart, holding about 
two quarts, and raised without difficulty a thousand bushels an 
hour. I soon put the buckets some twenty-two inches apart, 
and then sixteen or eighteen inches, till eighteen hundred or 
two thousand bushels an hour were raised. In some of the 
Elevators now in use, the buckets hold eight quarts and are only 
one foot apart, and will raise six or seven thousand bushels an 
hour, weighing it correctly. The storage of the first Elevator 
was fifty-five thousand bushels — its capacity was doubled three 
years after. 

During the twenty-two years that have now elapsed, the 
rapidly increasing receipts of grain have made a demand for 
continually increasing facilities for its transfer and storage, and 
there are now twenty-seven Elevators, besides two floating Ele- 
vators; storing, some of them, six hundred thousand bushels, 
and all together fully six million bushels, and capable of mov- 
ing in a single day, more than the entire annual receipts at this 
port at the time my Elevator was built. To give, at one view, 
an idea of the extent to which elevating facilities have been 
provided at this port, I annex a statement of all the Elevators 
that have been erected here, including those that have been 
destroyed by fire:* • 

* For valuable statistical information in this paper, relative to receipts and trans! 
of grain, I am indebted to Mr. E, H. Walker, commercial reporter of the Board ot 1 r.ide 
II this city. 


Elevating Warehouses. Capac. for Storage, Transfer Capac. 

bushels. per clay, bush. 

Bennett (form. Dart; burnt and rebuilt, I S63,). .600,000 96,000 

Buffalo 125,000 96,000 

Coatsworth (transfer,) 40,000 50,000 

Coburn(no\v C. J. Wells; burnt and rebuilt, iS63,)350,ooo 96,000 

Corn Dock (burnt in 1S65,) 

1st City (burnt in 1S59,) 

2d City (burnt and rebuilt, 1S66,) 600,000 I25;ooo 

1st Evans (burnt in 1S63,) 

2d Evans (burnt in 1S64; rebuilt, 1S65,) 300,000 97,000 

Empire 200,000 96,000 

Erie Basin (at Buffalo and Lake Huron Road,). 200,000 96,000 

Exchange, 200,000 96,000 

Excelsior (transfer,) 30,000 96,000 

Floating Elevators, 1 and 2, 30,000 192,900 

Grain Dock (burnt in 1861,) 

Hollister (burnt in 1859,). • •-• 

Main Street (burnt in 1S65; rebuilt, 1S67,). ... .225,000 

Marine (formerly Hatch,) 200,000 i6S,ooo 

Merchants', 30,000 96,000 

New York «\: Erie (at Erie Railroad,). . . 200,000 96,000 

Reed (burnt in 1S59,) 

Reed (built in 1S62,) 200,000 96,000 

Richmond (new, built in 1S64,) 280,000 144,000 

Sturges (burnt in 1S66; rebuilt 1867,) 350,000 100,000 

Sternberg (two buildings. A and B,) 350,000 96,000 

Sterling (burnt and rebuilt, 1S63,) 150,0(30 96,000 

Union (transfer,) . 40,000 96,000 

Seymour & Wells 125,000 96,000 

Wilkeson (burnt 1S63, and rebuilt,) 280,000 96,000 

Watson (built 1S63,) 600,000 2SS,ooo 

Williams, 150,000 96,000 

Total capacity, 5,855,000 2,700,900 

The annual grain product of the partially developed Great 
West, has already attained a magnitude numbered by nearly 
one thousand millions of bushels, and the surplus moved 
eastward by the several routes to market, has during the last 
four years, ranged from eighty to one hundred and forty mil- 
lions of bushels, and of this more than one-half has been 
received at Buffalo. 

In 1862, about seventy millions of bushels of grain were 
passed through the Elevators at Oswego and Buffalo. This 
large amount of grain could not have been transferred at these 
points by the modes in use twenty-five year's ago; and if it 
were possible to do it, the expense would have been augmented 
to more than twenty fold the present cost. 


The annual saving in expense to lake commerce, by this 
simple, cheap and expeditious process for handling grain, can 
only be numbered by tens of millions of dollars. 

The population of the Lake Basin states, has, during each 
ten years of the last thirty, been augmented in a ratio equal to 
fifty-five per cent. The present population exceeds nine mil- 
lions; and if a corresponding ratio of increase shall be main- 
tained during the remaining portion of this century, there will 
be, in the year 1900, a population of upwards of sixty millions, 
in the states bordering upon and commercially tributary to the 
great lakes.. 

The increase in the grain product of the West for the last 
thirty years, has been in a ratio equal to the increase in popu- 
lation. The cereal product of the West and Southwest, was, 
in i860, about six hundred millions of bushels, against one 
hundred and sixty-six million bushels in 1840. If this ratio of 
increase shall be maintained during the remaining portion of 
the century, the grain product in the year 1900, will exceed 
two thousand five hundred millions of bushels. Of the surplus 
over and above the wants for domestic consumption, about 
fifteen per cent, has been forwarded to Eastern markets. Pro- 
vided a like ratio of the surplus crop of the year 1900 is sent 
to market, then there will be a movement of i\\c hundred 
millions of bushels. Not all the product of the gold mines of 
California will equal the value saved to the internal commerce 
of the Western and Northwestern states, by those labor-sav- 
ing Elevators, with only the improvements in them now in use. 

Oliver Evans had a religious idea, that he was raised up by 
Providence to confer important benefits on his fellow-men; 
and, certainly, could he now be aware how extensively his im- 
provements are used, how wonderfully, by their means, trade 
has been extended, commerce increased, food cheapened, and 
the general welfare of mankind advanced^ he would be satisfied 
that his laborious and perplexing life had not been in vain. 





Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Historical Society: 

You have done me the honor to request me to prepare a 
paper upon the History of the Public Schools of the city of 

I have consented to do so from a sense of the duty which every 
member owes to the Society, to contribute to the general fund 
of Local history such information as he may possess or can obtain. 

A residence of thirty-five years in a city, the site of which 
was a wilderness fifty years ago, and when the little hamlet of 
1813 was reduced to the single cottage of Mrs. St. John, must 
afford to any man with his eyes and ears open, many subjects 
connected with his own experience and observation, which are 
worthy of preservation. 

It is the province of this Society, to gather the reminiscences 
of the early inhabitants of the city, as well as of those who, 
from ability or opportunity, have contributed in any manner to 
its growth, or have had any special identity with any of the 
works or institutions which constitute its greainess. 

* Died, November nth, 1S79. 


The early settlers of what is now the city of Buffalo were drawn 
here by the same motives which have actuated all mankind, 
since the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. It was to 
better their condition. The old states of New England, and 
the Atlantic border of New York and Pennsylvania, had so far 
increased after the Revolution, as to have what then seemed to be 
a redundant population. The young men of the first decade 
of the present century began to look abroad for some promised 
land, where they could find greater opportunities for settling 
themselves in life, or, to use a phrase better understood, of mak- 
ing their fortune. They had no oppressions to flee from as 
their forefathers had, and which forced them to abandon their 
native land for the inhospitable shore of New England. The 
new country they sought, although wild and uncivilized, was 
under their own chosen government; and while they knew they 
must create homes for themselves by hard, persistent labor, yet 
they had the consciousness that the government they loved 
and had assisted to create, would assure them ample protection. 

In the settlement of Western New York, therefore, the im- 
pelling motive was the inherent passion of our race to improve 
its condition. This desire, coupled with moral and physical 
courage, capacity for labor and love of adventure, constitutes 
what is usually called enterprise; and enterprise let it be called, 
— the word is significant and comprehensive. The enterprise 
then of the young and wise men of the East, became directed to 
Western Xew Vurk; and its rapid settlement from iSco to 1S12 
soon developed its capacity to sustain a nation. The war of 
1812, which continued until 1S15, checked, for a time, emigra- 
tion; but the return of peace again saw the long covered wagons, 
from every part of the older Northern states, winding their way 
through the miry road, occasionally improved by a primitive 
corduroy, to the rich lands of the Genesee, which was then a 
sort of generic name for all the wester* part of the state. 

The bulk of the early emigrants were agriculturists, who 
sought to find rich land, and create comfortable homes; but 


with them was mingled another class, who looked upon the 
then wilderness with an eye to business. Village sites, water 
privileges and trading points, soon came to be eagerly sought 
for and "taken up," as it was termed; and there shopkeepers, 
artisans and traders soon pitched their tents. 

The broad waters of Lake Erie early commanded the at- 
tention of these pioneers; and the lands at the foot of the lake 
could not fail to excite the attention of the sagacious and enter- 
prising. It needed no super-human prescience to determine 
that the foot of the lake must be an important trading point, 
but it did need judgment and foresight to determine where the 
particular site should be for the future city, as well as persistent 
and indomitable labor to bring into working order the various 
antagonistic elements which soon began to congregate in this 
vicinity. As is inevitable in the settlement of a new and prom- 
ising locality, a considerable portion of these early settlers were 
adventurers, without any particular business, who came to seek 
their fortunes without any definite plan; but, in the scramble for 
position and business which was created, watched and waited 
'"for something to turn up." 

Most of these adventurers waited in vain; for, in spite of the 
opportunities offered, tew had the necessary industry, sagacity 
and persistency, to assume and maintain a solid position. 
Schemes for fortune-making were innumerable, and failures 
were the rule, rather than the exception. Steady-minded men 
kept the even tenor of their way; and, despite the frequent 
wreck of well laid schemes and the crush of antagonism, the 
hamlet grew to be a village, and the village expanded into a city. 

As the village gradually assumed the form and aspect of civ- 
ilization, it became necessary to provide for and lav the foun- 
dations of those institutions which are inseparable from orderly 
and Christian communities. The first duty of the settler was 
to provide a shelter for his family; and, as soon as any consid- 
erable number had accomplished this first necessity, then the 
communitv thus created began to look for and establish the 


ordinances of religion, and make provision for the education of 
their children. The organization of religious societies, and the 
establishment of public worship, embraces a wide field of re- 
search; and it is a duty which every religious society now exist- 
ing in the city owes to the community, to gather up and preserve 
in a compact form a full and connected history of itself. This 
has been done by the First Presbyterian Church and the Fir>t 
Unitarian Church, and the example should be generally fol- 
lowed. Probably nothing would give a better idea of the char- 
acter of the population of the city, than a history of the origin 
and progress of the various religious societies, as they now exist. 

The next great subject which would naturally engage the 
attention of the early settlers, partaking, as they largely did, of 
the New England element, was the establishment of schools. 
This, if possible, was more difficult than that of religious wor- 
ship. Meetings for religious services could and were frequently 
extemporized in private homes, with such temporary accommo- 
dation as could be easily provided; and the services were con- 
ducted by lay members, in the absence of a regular minister. 
Schools, however, could not be so easily improvised. Teachers 
must be hired for the purpose, and required to be fed, clothed 
and cared for like other people. If they taught school regu- 
larly, it was difficult for them to do anything else; and teacher> 
came here for the reasons that brought others here. Conse- 
quently, in those early days few professional teachers came 
here. It was not uncommon for young men, while preparing 
themselves for a profession, to help themselves forward by tak- 
ing charge of a school. 

It will easily be seen that this method, or rather absence of 
method, soon became inadequate for our growing village. 
Something more definite and tangible became necessary, as our 
population increased. 

The old state law. for the organization and support of com- 
mon schools, was very crude and imperfect, affording little he!; 1 
and few facilities, apart from local effort. In the absence ol 


intelligent and public spirited citizens, to originate and push 
forward a district school, but little was done. Such of the 
people as had acquired some property and position, preferred 
to send their children to private schools, such as were to be 
had, or to send to older settlements, where good schools were 

For many years, private schools innumerable were started, / 
frequently with great effort and large promise; all of which 
withered and died, after a brief existence. They were either 
too expensive for the mass of our population, or failed in other 
respects to fulfil their promises. The public mind was by no 
means indifferent to this great subject. It occupied the thoughts 
of many of our best citizens; but no general and fixed plan could 
be determined upon, which commanded general approval. 

As I before remarked, the state school law for the organiza- 
tion and support of common schools was too imperfect, and 
the school fund too small, to offer much inducement for local 

It was not, however,, neglected; and district schools were 
established under the law, and supported as well as could be 
expected at that period. As these schools, as far as they went, 
were public schools, their history comes within the province of 
this paper. 

It will be remembered that, previous to 1S32, when the old 
village of Buffalo was created a city by act of the legislature, 
the township of Buffalo embraced all the territory since known 
as Black Rock, and, until about 1830, Tonawanda; and, conse- 
quently, the district school organization covered all that terri- 
tory. The first district was composed of the then village of 
Buffalo, having the same boundaries as the city, under the 
charter of 1832; and which remained unchanged, until the con- 
solidation of Black Rock and Buffalo by the charter of 1852. 

The village was one district, and \o. 1 cfi" the town. The 
earliest information I have been able to obtain, in regard to the 
building of a school house, is, that about 1800, permission was 


obtained from the Holland Land Company, to occupy the lot 
on the southwest corner of South Cayuga (now Pearl) and 
Swan streets, since known as the " Fobes Lot," and opposite the 
well known residence of Mr. George Coit. It was supposed 
that the lot was given for school purposes, but no conveyance 
was ever made. The school house was built, as near as I can 
ascertain, by private subscription, or, as it was then termed, a 
"Bee," or contributions of materials and labor by the set- 
tlers. Among the names I have heard mentioned as contribu- 
tors, are those of Samuel Pratt (father of Mrs. Esther Pratt 
Fox, and grandfather of Samuel F. Pratt), Doctor Cyrenius Cha- 
pin, Gamaliel St. John, Joseph Landon and Zenas Barker. It 
was attended by most of the children of the village, there being 
for some time no other school. The first teacher was Samuel 
Whiting, a Presbyterian minister. The next, and best known, 
was Amos Callender, whose name occurs in nearly every move- 
ment connected with morals, education, religion and good 
order. Mrs. Esther Pratt Fox, Mrs. P. Sidway, Eliza Cotton 
and Mrs. William. Ketchum, are the only pupils of Deacon 
Callender in that school, known to be residents in the city. 
Mrs. Sidway informs me that about 1S10 or 1S11, some of the 
inhabitants thought something more was wanted for their chil- 
dren, and Gamaliel St. John induced a Mr. Asaph Hall to open 
what was called a grammar school, in the court house. This 
was continued for some little time, but could not be sustained 

The old school house, however, has a history. It was burned 
when the village was destroyed by the British, in 1S13-14, but 
this, although it terminated its existence, did not end its his- 
tory After the law for the relief of the Niagara sufferers was 
passed by Congress, all who had suffered losses, or could create 
'a claim, filed the same with the commissioners. General H. 
B. Potter was a trustee of the district, and filed a claim in its 
behalf. The claim was allowed at five hundred dollars, \vhi< h 
was paid to General Potter. In the meantime, the distri 


been divided, another district having been organized north of 
Court street, called Xo. 2. The trustees of this district claimed 
a share of this money, and commenced a suit for its recovery. 
Dr. Chapin hearing of it, also claimed that he was entitled to a 
share, as he was a large contributor to the original building. 
In this dilemma, which reminds one of the celebrated trian- 
gular duel of Midshipman Easy, General Potter could only 
extricate himself by applying to the Court of Chancery for relief. 
This was finally obtained, by an order to pay the money into 
court; which was done, less the costs, and General Potter was 
relieved. The suits, in the meantime, went on, and were not 
finally decided until about 1838. 

In. that year, Mr. Joseph Clary, as the representative of the 
upper district, paid. to me, as superintendent of schools, a bill 
of costs obtained against his district, in the settlement of the 
suit. This was all that old district Xo. 1 (now Xo. 8) received 
of the five hundred dollar windfall; the whole of the original 
amount having been absorbed in costs. District Xo. 2 had a 
heavy bill of costs to pay, as did also the estate of Dr. Chapin. 
There is some confusion as to the numbers of the districts, 
after the division was made. Mr. Benjamin Hodge has fur- 
nished me with a school district record book, dating back to 
1815, in which the territory at and adjacent to Cold Spring is 
called Xo. 2. It is so designated till about 1S20, after which it 
it appears on the records as Xo. 3. There are some curious 
things in this old record book. It is remarkable that any effort 
at all was made as early as' 1815, the year of the termination 
of the war, to establish a school. Yet it was done, and, after a 
long struggle, accomplished, and the district was organized 
in May, 1816. Frederick Miller, William I bulge and Alvin 
Dodge, were the first trustees. A motion was made to appro- 
priate two hundred silver dollars, for the purchase of a site, and 
erection of a school house. This was probaltly made by some 
rash young man, whose zeal was without knowledge, and the 
meeting broke up without agreement. Something was done, 


however, probably without authority; as, at a special meeting of 
of the district at the house of William Hodge, a motion was 
made, " that the trustees go forward at their own expense, and 
repair the school house, and hire a teacher." This meeting 
"dissolved without adjournment." In December following, 
an order was made to buy a lot for sixty dollars, and that the 
district employ a teacher for another quarter. The teacher's 
name was S. Fuller. Mr. Benjamin Hodge has furnished me 
with many interesting facts in regard to this school district, 
before the war. Mr. Hodge says, that "about 1S07, a Scotch- 
man, by the name of Sturgeon, born in Ireland, taught school 
on Main street, near the present residence of Alanson Robin- 
son. The house had but one window, and that without glass; 
plenty of light, however,, was admitted through the openings 
between the logs. A small pine table, and three benches made 
of slabs, constituted the whole furniture. Mr. Sturgeon at 
first taught only reading, but afterwards at the urgent request 
of parents, added spelling. Some twenty scholars attended. 
George Lyon and Benjamin Hodge, two of the older boys, acted 
as sub-teachers for the older scholars, while Mr. Sturgeon 
taught the younger children, and did the whipping for the 
whole school. At that time there were about twelve houses 
between North street and Granger's creek." 

The old record book is a curiosity. The first records afford 
conclusive evidence of the necessity of a school. The spelling 
is especially free and easy, without apparent consciousness of 
any authority. School house is spelt, "scool hous;" meeting is 
spelt sometimes " meating," and sometimes " meting;" and com- 
mittee is spelt as Christian people spell "comity." 

The mo.>t atrocious thing, however, is, that the name of Mr. 
Seth Steele, occurs several times in the record, is uniformly 
spelt "Steal." I observe, however, that when dollars and cents 
occur in the record, they are always spek correctly. 

Mr. George R. Babcock has furnished me with the original 
copy of a tax, levied in district No. 1. in 181S, by which it 


appears that it then embraced the whole village. It is dated 
Sept. 3d, 1818. The trustees were Heman B. Potter, Reuben 
B. Heacock and Elias Ransom. There is little doubt that this 
was the first school tax ever levied in the village. The amount 
ordered to be raised, was five hundred and fifty-four dollars 
and twenty-five cents; and the total real and personal property 
in the whole village is set down at two hundred and seventy- 
five thousand six hundred and seventy-seven dollars. 

After the war, a school was started, and kept in such rooms 
as could be obtained. Deacon Callender again taught, as did 
also a Mr. Pease. There was also a school house, built, prob- 
ably, with the proceeds of the tax referred to. This school 
• house seems to have had no abiding place. Now it was in the 
Kremlin Block; then on the vacant land now occupied by the 
Blossom House; again on the ground near the house of S. N. 
Callender, and still again on Niagara street, near Pearl. ' While 
near Mr. Callender's; it was taught by Rev. Deodatus Babcock, 
an Episcopal minister, who taught some of the higher branches, 
A lady of the city relates with how much awe she looked upon 
Mr. Babcock, when he was hearing a recitation in Latin, from 
Orsamus Marshall. A school was usually kept up, and there 
was a great variety of teachers. At one time it was kept on 
the Lancastrian plan, with sonic success. At one time a vote 
was obtained for the district, to raise four thousand dollars for 
a house and lot, but it was afterwards rescinded. About 1830, 
a tax was levied, with the proceeds of which the trustees bought 
the lot on Church street, now occupied by school No. 8. Sev- 
eral efforts were made to build a house upon it; but nothing 
was accomplished until the new system was established. I have 
heard of quite a number of private school teachers, who taught 
at sundry times, and with varied success. Among the names I 
have heard mentioned, as being quite successful, was that oi 
Mr. Wyatt Camp, a brother of Major John G. Camp, who is 
mentioned with much regard by his pupils. 

District No. 2 was organized, as near as 1 can ascertain, about 


1821; and a school was established in hired rooms, in various 
places. I cannot learn who were the first trustees, or the name 
of the first teacher. In 1822, a school was kept in a house on 
the west side of Main street, between Mohawk and Genesee 
streets. Our fellow citizen, Mr. Fillmore, commenced his ca- 
reer as a public man, as teacher of this school. He was, at the 
same time, a student with the law firm of Rice & Clary. I will 
here take occasion to state, that Mr. Fillmore afterwards taught 
the school at Cold Spring for one winter, 1822-3. During that 
time he was also a deputy postmaster, and came in after school 
in the afternoon, to make up the mails. When the stage left 
for Albany in the morning, his practice was to ride out on the 
box, with the driver, to open his school at Cold Spring at the 
usual hour. 

I will also, while I am about it, state that another of our fel- 
low citizens, Mr. Henry Lovejoy, also taught the school at 
Cold Spring for one winter. "Whether he kept the school better 
or worse than Mr. Fillmore, I am not able to state. I have no 
doubt, however, that it was kept " well enough for all practical 

District No. 2, through its trustee, Mr. Moses Baker, took up 
the lot on the corner of Pearl and Mohawk streets for a school 
lot. A building was built on the lot, for the joint use of the dis- 
trict and the Society of Universalists. The school was kept in 
the lower story, and the Society occupied the upper story. Mr. 
Peter E. Miles was the first teacher in this school. Fie will be 
remembered by many "of our old citizens, as a man of many 
amiable traits of character, and had the reputation, at the time, 
of being the best mathematician in the city. He died in 1832. 
The school house was occupied until about 1833, when it was 
abandoned; and the brick school on the Franklin street alley 
was erected, to which 1 shall refer hereafter. 

When the city organization of school^took effect, in 1S3S. 
there were six district school houses in the city, where schools 
were kept, as follows: 


No. 2, Franklin street (alley.) 

No. 12, Hydraulics. 

No. 15, Perry street. 

No. 16, Goodell street. 

No. 17, South Division street. 

No. 19, Louisiana street. 

The numbers were under the old town organization. 

District No. 12 was organized in 1830. The first trustees 
were John Colman, James Bennett and N. H. Gardner. The 
first school was taught by a female teacher, and did not exceed 
thirty scholars. In 1832, a Mr. Emory was appointed teacher, 
being the first male teacher in the district. A small school 
house was built on the corner of Pollard (now Jefferson) and 
Folsom streets, where the school was kept until the new school 
house on Seneca street was built, in 1839. Mr. N. H. Gardner 
was a standing trustee of this district, and has favored me with 
a valuable statement of the early history and progress of the 
school, in the prosperity of which he has always taken a deep 

No. 15 was organized in 1831. A very eligible lot on Perry 
street was presented to the district, by the late Dr. B. Burwell 
and Dr. J. W. Clarke; on which a quite large, two-story school 
house was erected, in 1832. The first trustees were Joel S. 
Smith, A. C. Moore and William Harris. The first teacher was 
Henry Griswold. The school was kept in this building, as No. 
3 of the new system, until the new building on the same street 
was erected, in 1S51. 

I find it difficult to obtain any authentic information in 
regard to No. 16. It was probably organized about the same 
time as Xo. 15. The little brick school house on the corner of 
Goodell and Washington streets, is supposed to have been built 
in 1832. I found it in 1S38, crowded with scholars, in charge 
of Mr. D. Galusha, but destitute of any of rlie conveniences be- 
longing to a school. The manner in which the business of the 
district was conducted, was a fair sample of the management 


of school affairs in the olden time. Deacon Jabez Goodell 
was the trustee, and the only one I ever knew. A large portion 
of the district was his own estate, and he managed all its affairs. 
The school was kept four months in the winter, strictly accord- 
ing to law. The teacher was hired in the fall, at the lowest 
market price, to teach four months. The deacon had a tene- 
ment to rent, and provisions from his farm to sell the teacher 
at fair market rates. When the term was up, he was regularly 
settled with, and the school house closed till the next season; 
when the same formula was gone through. The public money 
was drawn in May, and held by the deacon. There is no dispute 
that this money was safely kept, and, in the end, properly ac- 
counted for; but when the new system came into operation, and 
the money was called for, to be disbursed according to the new 
law, and through the hands of other parties, it appeared to 
grievously interfere with the old gentleman's methodical habits. 
The school was continued in the little old school house until 
1845, when it was removed to the present building on Oak street. 

District No. 17 was also organized about the same time, and 
a very eligible lot was obtained on South Division street, which 
now forms part of the lot where school No. 7 now stands. A 
select school had been previously kept in the district, in a build- 
ing erected by private subscriptions, situated on what was then 
called Tan alley, now Carroll street. This school was taught 
by John Drew, a teacher well known in those days. The name 
of Tan alley, is generally supposed to have originated from 
the fact that it was the road leading to the old tannery of 
Joseph I). Hoyt; but if any future antiquary should investigate 
that question, I think it well for him to impure whether it 
might not possibly originate from a way which John Drew had 
of tanning the hides of his unruly scholars. 

The trustees of the district when I first knew it, were, Wil- 
liam Ketchum, Manning Case and Orlafldo Allen. Old Mr. 
Case, of the Farmers' Hotel, went to Batavia in person, and ob- 
tained a deed of the school lot. The building was erected in 


1834 or 1835, and was the best built house then in the city, for 
school purposes. It was used until 1845, when the present 
school house was built. 

District X'o. 19 was organized about 1834, and in 1835 the 
well known red school house was built on Louisiana street, on 
a lot given the district by Dr. J. W. Clark. The first trustees 
were, John R. Prince, Charles S. Pierce and William J. Mack. 
The first teacher was Stephen Carner. The school house was 
carried away by a flood, 1 think in the year it was built; but was 
replaced firmly by Charles S. Pierce, upon a timber frame work 
bedded four or five feet in the ground. This served the inhab- 
itants for a school, a church, public meetings and meetings 
of a general social character. The school was continued in it 
until the erection of the present large, well arranged building, 
for school No. 4; but the old school house still stands upon the 
old lot. 

I am under obligations to Benjamin Hodge, X. H. Gardner, 
A. C. Moore and Dr. J. W. Clark, for valuable letters, which I 
shall file among the papers of this Society. Such of our citi- 
zens now living, who resided here previous to the year 1837, a 
year memorable in the financial history of the city, will easily 
call to mind the numerous institutions on a large scale, which 
started into being, and, after a short and sometimes brilliant 
career, sunk into oblivion. The high-school association, started 
in 1827, was one of the most promising; liberal subscriptions 
were made, and a fine building erected (now forming part of 
the Hospital of the Sisters of Charity); and for some years it 
was apparently successful. But it had no solid foundation or 
inherent strength, and soon faded away. It was revived as a 
military school on the system of Captain Partridge; and for 
some years was successful, and was the great pet of the city. 
It was, however, too expensive for the time, failing to reach the 
great body of our people; and changes at' teachers and policy 
soon brought its career to a close. 

All will remember the great University projected in 1S35, 


which was to rival Harvard and Yale when it was built, but 
which never arose. The Medical Department, however, did 
acquire a foothold, and is now the Medical College of this city. 

Repeated efforts were made to establish Female Seminaries, 
several of which were well organized and conducted; but all 
failed to meet the wants of a city, which, although becoming 
populous and prosperous, yet embraced a large proportion of 
those who could not avail themselves of these expensive insti- 

Such was the condition of education in 1837. The great 
financial revolution which then swept over the country, fell 
heavily upon the city. The great prosperity which prevailed 
for several years, had excited a wild spirit of speculation, which, 
culminating in 1836, brought upon us the disasters of 1837, 
under which so many of our best and most substantial citizens 
were overwhelmed. The recent similar revulsion of 1857, will 
give some idea of that of 1837, when the population was less 
than twenty thousand. In the state of things thus produced, 
the private schools of the city were so paralyzed as to be of 
little service; and 'thoughtful men began to cast around for 
some general and effective system, which would bring the means 
of education within the reach of all. The subject was much 
discussed in the winter of 1836-7, both in the public prints and 
in private circles. In that winter a law was passed, authorizing 
the appointment of a city superintendent of common schools. 
Under that law, Mr. R. \V. Haskins received the appointment. 
The law was, however, so imperfect, that no good effects fol- 
lowed its enactment. Mr. Haskins found himself an official 
without power; and, after vainly endeavoring to accomplish 
something under the law, resigned his office within the year. 
With his resignation, Mr. Haskins sent a communication to 
the council, stating his inability to accomplish anything without 
important amendments to the law, and suggested some general 
ideas for such amendments, which were afterwards incorporated 
in the law. 


The state law was not adapted to a large city. Few people 
took any interest in the district schools, and few children, ex- 
cept those of the poorer classes, attended them. The trustees 
under the law, were men of business, who had no time to spare, 
and no means to improve their several schools. They therefore 
got along as easily as possible, and as well, perhaps, as could 
be expected. It soon become the custom of the trustees, to 
find some person who would take the school for the smallest 
rate of tuition, during the time required by law, to enable them 
to draw public money; giving them the public money and taking 
their own risk of collection from the pupils. This easy and 
slipshod way of doing business produced such results as might 
be expected. In some populous districts the teacher could do 
very well, and would sustain a very fair school. In others, 
it would be. kept a few months to fulfill the requirements of 
the law, and then closed for the remainder of the year. The 
whole system was without supervision or accountability, except 
such as was barely sufficient to comply with the state law. 

Such was the condition of the common schools in 1837. The 
general failure of the 'private schools, and the financial con- 
dition of the city, conspired to draw attention to the skeleton 
of common schools then existing, and to induce an effort to 
revive and improve it, so as to command general confidence. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Haskins, Mr. X. P. Sprague 
was appointed; who declined for the same reasons given by Mr. 
Haskins. At the next meeting of the council, I was appointed 
superintendent without previous consultation. I was induced 
to accept the office at the earnest solicitation of Judge Hall, 
then Chairman of the committee on schools, who, with other 
members of the council, expressed a strong desire that the 
common school law should be amended, or a new one framed. 
so that it would meet the public wants. 

I must ask the indulgence of the Society, if, in the course of 
this paper, I may be guilty of egotism. But the position in 
which I found myself unexpectedly placed, and the immediate 


responsibility I was obliged to assume, together with the exec- 
utive duties I was called upon to perform, caused me to be- 
come so identified with the system then established, that I trust 
I may be excused if I make too frequent use of the first person. 
My first duty was to ascertain where the schools were situated, 
the boundaries of the districts, and the condition of the schools. 
The first object was accomplished, after a few day's exploration 
with a horse and buggy, and after innumerable inquiries. The 
next point, to wit, the boundaries, was one of more difficulty. 
The city was nominally divided into school districts, and had 
a board of trustees and a clerk. I did not find a single trustee 
who could give me the boundaries of his own district, and but 
one clerk who had a record book showing the same. This clerk 
was Mr. Aaron Bean, who taught in the school district Xo. 2, 
in the alley in the rear of Franklin street, between Huron and 
Mohawk. Our old citizens will remember this excellent and 
methodical man, who taught the school so long, and gave all the 
talent with which nature had endowed him, so faithfully and 
conscientiously. I shall never forget the surprise and almost 
bewilderment of the old gentleman, when I first called upon him, 
in my official capacity. If I remember right, he said it was the 
first call he had received from an official, since the school house 
was built, some four or five years before. He had kept the 
school, kept the record, made his returns to the trustees, re- 
ceived the public money, collected the tuition allowed, two dol- 
lars per quarter, took the whole care of the house, and was, con- 
sequently, the man of the district. The record of the boundaries 
of the district was the first I obtained correctly, which was 
marked upon a map of the city; and as fast as I found another 
line, it was marked upon this map. In this way I obtained a 
tolerable map of the districts. A curious document it was, now, 
unfortunately, lost. A portion of the city was in no district at 
all, and several lines overlapped each o4her, making inextri- 
cable confusion in boundary lines and questions of jurisdiction. 
With much difficulty, I obtained the necessary data to make a 

COMMON SC//0 OLS. 421 

report to the council, which, with the map, was referred to the 
committee on schools and superintendent, with power to prepare 
apian of organization. The duty of preparing the law for the or- 
ganization of the system, devolved upon Judge Hall and myself; 
and I well remember going to his house by appointment amidst 
a furious snow storm, which continued the whole day, and dur- 
ing which the original school law of our city was prepared. It 
was in the midst of the Patriot war, and the public mind was 
highly excited with the stirring events then occurring in this 
vicinity. It was to this that we were undoubtedly indebted 
for the absence of opposition before the legislature, to a law 
which changed so completely our whole system of public in- 
struction. Vet we did not venture to propose an entire free 
school system, and, for the purpose of avoiding all issues with 
districts, the form of local organization was retained, and a low 
rate of tuition established. A slight amendment to the law, in 
1839, made the schools free, with the control of the whole in the 
hands of the council and superintendent. The reorganization 
of school districts was made in 1838, and has not been essen- 
tially changed. 

The summer of 1S3S was a memorable one in the-history of 
our public schools. The subject was the most prominent one 
then before the public, and was agitated with much spirit. 
Public meetings were held, which were largely attended, and 
the subject fully discussed. The most important series of 
meetings were commenced on the thirty-first of August, at the 
old court house. The late Hon. Albert H. Tracy presided, 
and Mr. Horatio H. Shumway acted as secretary. A commit- 
tee of four from each ward was appointed, ''To impure into the 
condition of the schools in Buffalo, both public and private: 
ascertain the number of children who attend school, the ex- 
pense of their education, and report the same, together with 
some plan for the improvement of our school, at a future meet- 
ing to be called for that purpose." 

This committee consisted of the following persons, all well 


known to our older citizens, many of whom are now living 
among us: ' 

First Ward. — IX J. Trowbridge, Charles S. Pierce, F. \V. At- 
kins, A. C. Moore, J. R. Prince. 

Second Ward. — J. W. Peals, S. S. Case, Lucius Storrs, James 
I. Brown and X. H. Gardner. 

Third Ward. — Henry Root, Moses Bristol, S. X. Callender, 
H. Shumway and L, G. Marvin. 

Fourth Ward. — O. G. Steele, Xathan Lyman, X. Wilgus, 
Moses Baker and IX Galusha. 

Fifth Ward.— X. K. Hall, X. Vosburgh, S. Chamberlain, 
Joseph Miller and S. Caldwell. 

The committee set to work immediately; and, on the nine- 
teenth of September following, at a meeting held at the com- 
mon council chamber, made a full and very interesting report; 
showing the condition of education, public and private, with 
the cost of the same. The report represented the schools as 
in a low state, and utterly unequal to the public wants. Among 
other details, it was shown that more than half of the children 
of the city did not attend any school at all. 

The committee also reported a plan for a full and complete 
organization of the city, under an entire free school system, 
under the authority and control of the common council; the 
expense over and above the money obtained from the state 
school fund, to be defrayed by the general tax upon the real 
and personal property of the city. The plan of organization 
proposed by the committee, embraced " a Primary school in each 
district, a Ward school in each ward for more advanced scholars, 
and a Central High school where all the higher branches neces- 
sary for a complete English education shall be taught." 

The report was accepted, and a resolution offered that it 
should be adopted. A long and animated discussion took 
place, pending which the meeting adjourned two weeks, to 
meet again at the old court house. 'Hie report of the com- 
mittee was taken up at the adjourned meeting, and after a long 


debate, adopted and transmitted to the common council. It 
was well received, and the following winter the schools were 
made free by act of the legislature. The plan recommended 
by the committee, although varied in its details, was substan- 
tially adopted, and now forms the basis of our system. . The 
modifications consisted in making the district schools larger 
than was contemplated by the report, and dividing them into 
departments, thus obviating the necessity of ward schools. 
The higher Central school was also, after many years delay, 
finally adopted, and now forms part of our general free school 

It is due to the memory of the Hon. Albert H. Tracy, to 
state, that he presided at all these meetings and gave the weight 
of his great influence in favor of the system proposed by the 
report. Horatio Shumway acted at every meeting as secre- 
tary, and was also very earnest and decided in his approval of 
the adoption of an entire free school system. I would state, 
also, that in making up the report and plan of organization, 
the committee had no precedents, but struck out the plan from 
their own judgment of the wants of the city, and the most 
direct and effective method of accomplishing that object. 

The labor of organizing and bringing into working order a 
new system of public schools, like that of our own, can scarcely 
be conceived by one without experience in matters of that kind. 
While the public mind was well prepared for a reformation o c 
the whole system, ti,ere were not a few excellent men and true 
friends of education, who doubted the expediency of the pro- 
posed radical change, and feared that too much was being 
attempted for the times. 

There was also another class of men, who had acquired prop- 
erty by hard labor, and had already reared their own families 
and educated their children at their own expense, who believed 
themselves unjustly oppressed by the new system. We were 
apt, at that time, when in the early flush of the new system, to 
apply to this latter class the term "Old Fogies," and similar 


disrespectful epithets. I will not assume to say that they were 
not well deserved in some instances, but that some of these 
gentlemen had what seemed to them good ground for their 
objection, I can now easily see. It was a new and unprece- 
dented burden put upon them, after they had passed the merid- 
ian of life, and had educated their own families; yet I still 
think they were mistaken in their general views, and that every 
property-holder and citizen receives abundant remuneration 
for all taxes he may pay for free schools. I can well under- 
stand that the objections they made were entitled to more weight 
than we were then willing to concede. 

The. carrying out of the new system also aroused frequent 
issues with the inhabitants of the several districts. The teacher 
was apt to be deemed an employee of the district; and in the 
occasional ententes which occur in all districts, the people 
thought they had a right to discharge or appoint a teacher at 

Every mother whose child had been punished at school for 
M doing nothing," according to the victim's account, called 
upon the superintendent, in high wrath, to have the teacher 

The taxation for the erection of school houses was sometimes 
burdensome and unequal; and all issues of that kind were re- 
ferred to the superintendent, who could only fall back upon the 
law, and defend against all comers, as best he might. 

The selection of a site, and the building of the house, were 
also subjects which rarely satisfied everybody, and in which 
every resident of the district claimed the right to be heard. 
Principles were to be established, and precedents made for a 
new and untried system, upon which many estimable men <.:::' 
fered widely in opinion. 

Taking all these things into consideration, the oftice of super- 
intendent of schools, during the organization of the system and 
the building of the first set of school houses, was one of the most 
difficult and responsible of the offices under the city -government. 


The first school house built under the new system, was that 
in No. 8 on Church street. This was the old original district 
which once embraced the whole village. The lot where the 
school house now stands was owned by the district; having 
been bought with the proceeds of a tax raised several years 
before. The inhabitants, however, had never been able to agree 
upon the building of a house upon the lot. It was determined 
to build a house in this district, and a tax was levied for that 
purpose. It was the wealthiest district in the city, and, although 
the tax was heavy for a school tax, yet it was light upon the 
district. It was built in the form which it retains, a handsome, 
well proportioned building, but on a scale which at that time 
was thought too extravagant. It formed a subject of sharp 
controversy, and the papers of the day abounded with severe 
criticisms Upon its magnitude and extravagance. This build- 
ing, although it has since been enlarged to the full capacity of 
the lot, is now the smallest public school building in the city. 
The school was a great success. The first teachers were well 
qualified; the accommodations superior to any school building 
in the city; and it was soon filled with scholars from every class 
in the community. I remember well, that the president of this 
Society, after his return from Congress in 1839, placed his 
children in this school. 

The year 1839 constituted quite an era in the building of 
•school houses. A plan was adopted, on a more moderate scale 
than in No. 8, but of larger dimensions. Houses were built in 
No. 11, on Vine street (since taken for the use of the Colored 
school); in No. 6 on South Division street, now standing, but 
greatly enlarged; No. 13, on Washington street, on ground now 
occupied by the Washington Market; Xo. 5 on Seneca street 
(Hydraulics), still standing, but much enlarged; Xo. 12 on 
Spruce street, a one-story building, now used for a Primary 
school, a school house of the largest si/f having since been 
built in the district. 

The taxation necessary to construct all these buildings and 


pay for the lots, embraced a large portion of the city; and being, 
as I before remarked, a new and unusual tax, bore heavily in 
many instances, and caused considerable dissatisfaction. It 
is, therefore, not surprising that a reaction took place in the 
public mind, in regard to public schools. I do not say there 
was any general dissatisfation with the system, but the heavy 
taxation had its usual effect, and it was feared that even the 
best of things might be too expensive, and we were going ahead 
a little too fast. The city was suffering under the effects of the 
great revulsion of 1S37, business was stagnant, real estate greatly 
depressed, and the prospect for the future far from flattering. 

It is still less surprising, that the individual who was sup- 
posed to be the chief agitator of these movements, and who 
certainly was the executive officer in all these proceedings, 
should have been singled out for sacrifice to these reactionary 
influences. The superintendent was then appointed by the 
common council, and, in the following spring of 1840, his name 
was left off the slate for reappointment. He was, to use the 
expression of modern politics, u left out in the cold." My suc- 
cessor was Mr. Dan'iel Bowen, an estimable citizen, sincerely 
friendly to the school system, but having no experience in the 
duties of the office. He was appointed contrary to his wishes, 
and being unable to give it proper attention, resigned in a few 
months. I would say here, that, subsequently, Mr. Bowen, as 
a member of the council and again as superintendent of schools, 
proved himself an efficient officer, and has at all times given his 
efforts and influence in. favor of free education. 

Mr. Silas Kingslev was appointed to fill the vacancy occa- 
sioned by Mr. Bowen's resignation, and was also reappointed 
by the council of 1841. It is scarcely necessary to say, that 
Mr. Kingslev was eminently fitted for the office. He was a 
teacher of large experience and marked success, and brought 
to the duties of the office a sincere devotion to its interests. 
and an excellent faculty for organizing and disciplining the 
interior of a school. I'nder his administration the schools were 


greatly improved, in their classification as well as in the course 
of study adopted. 

Mr. S. Caldwell held the office in 1S42 and 1S43, and Mr. 
E. S. Hawley in 1S44. During these years the schools continued 
to increase largely hi usefulness and general popularity, and 
the system became thoroughly established in the public mind. 
All the schools were filled to overflowing, and the necessity of 
providing additional accommodations became imperative. 

In 1845, * was again appointed superintendent. Xo new 
school house had been erected since 1839, and this onerous 
duty again devolved upon me. In that year, a large school 
house was built in district Xo. 3, on Erie street. This building 
was destroyed by fire in 1852, the lot sold, and the large and 
beautiful building on the Terrace, near Genesee street, was 
erected in 1853. 

School house in Xo. 7, on South Division street, now stand- 
ing, was the first building in the city calculated to accommo- 
date three departments. 

School house in Xo. 15, on Oak street, north of Goodell. now 
standing, has since been much enlarged, and a new building 
for the Primary department erected, within the same enclosure. 

The school house and lot in district Xo. t, on Seventh street, 
north of Carolina, has been sold, and a building of the largest 
class erected on the same street, north of Virginia street. 

The year of 1845 closed my connection with the public 
schools, as I supposed, finally, and it is well at this point to 
take a short retrospective view of the progress of the school 
system. In the winter of 1S37-8, when I took charge of the 
schools, the number of district schools in "the city was seven, 
all with small, ill-constructed buildings, without any of the con- 
veniences which are now thought to be indispensable. 

The total registration in all these schools, the first week of 
r ^39> was one hundred and seventy-nine, fh [83S, the school 
building in No. 8 was built, but not finished for the opening of 
1S39. The good effects ka the law of 1838 upon the schools. 


was manifested in the increased attendance, although no new- 
ones were established in that year. The registration in the same 
schools the first week of 1839, was four hundred and thirty-one. 
In 1839, five new school houses were erected, and five new 
schools organized. The registration the first week of TS40, was 
one thousand two hundred and fifty-two, about seven times the 
number entered but two years. before. In the school Xo. 8, two 
hundred and forty-six scholars were registered, being nearly fifty 
per cent, more than the total registration two years before. 
This result, with the new energy which had been infused into 
the department, established firmly in the public mind the policy 
of the free school system. The schools had become superior 
to all others in the city, and several of the most successful of the 
private school teachers abandoned their schools and took posi- 
tions in the public schools. 

In February, 1846, before my term of office expired, a third 
department was established in district Xo. 7, for the purpose 
of providing a higher grade of instruction for the scholars in 
the public schools, being in effect a Central High school. It 
was continued in this form until 1852, when the present High 
school was purchased, and the institution established on its 
present basis. The progress of the school system has since 
been onward. In all the vicissitudes of business, the whirl of 
politics, the occasional unwise attempts of ultra religionists and 
politicians to give them a direction favorable to their peculiar 
views, they have been kept singularly free from all influences, 
which would divert them from the single purpose for which 
they were established, which was to provide a good common 
school education for all the children of the city, at the public 

In 1846, the large commodious school building in Xo. 14. on 
Franklin street, was erected, and almost immediately filled with 

In 1847, the school house in district Xo. 10, cm Delaware 
street, was built: and in the fall of that year, the school was 


removed from the alley where it had been kept so many years. 
Before this was done, districts Nos. 9 and 10 had been united 
by order of the council. 

In 1848, the council purchased the school house and lot on 
Vine street, for the use of the Colored school, and organized it 
on the same plan as the other schools. A new school house 
was built for district No. n, on Elm street, north of Eagle, 
which is still used. 

In 1849, a large and very well arranged building was erected 
in district Xo. 4, on Elk street, upon a spacious lot, where the 
school is still kept. Also, the large school house on Spruce 
street, in district Xo. 12, nearly opposite the house built in 1839. 
In 1850, a new school house was erected on Perry street, in 
district Xo. 3, of the same class as that in X T o. 4, and the old 
inconvenient school house built under the old law, was finally 
abandoned in the summer of 1851. 

In 1851, evening .schools were established by order of the 
council, and were continued for several winters with great suc- 
cess. They were abandoned for no other reason that I am 
aware of, but to save expense, and I trust the time will soon 
come, if it has not already, when they will again be organized. 
The school building on Erie street, in district X T o. 2, was de- 
stroyed in the great fire of September, 185 1. The next year, the 
large, beautiful and well appointed building now standing on 
the Terrace near Genesee street was erected. This was the 
last school house built by the city under the old charter. 

In 1852. a city convention was held, for the purpose of pre- 
paring anew charter for the city, which became a law in April, 
1853, and took effect January 1st, 1854. By this law, the town 
of Black Rock was annexed to the city of Buffalo, and a new 
organization of the city government effected. The schools 
were reorganized with the other departments, and the othcc of 
superintendent made elective. The free school system was ex- 
tended over the new territory, and its duties and responsibilities 
greatly enlarged. 


This paper has grown upon my hands much more than I 
expected, and I shall not attempt to proceed farther. I leave it 
to others to keep up the record of the free schools. By the pres- 
ent system, and indeed for many years past, the several superin- 
tendents have published elaborate annual reports, which form 
part of our city public documents, and contain in detail every 
item of information, relative to the progress and condition of 
our free school system. 

I prepose, briefly, to make some comparisons between the 
schools in 1838, 1845 and 1852; each embracing a period of 
seven years. In 1838, the number of scholars enrolled in the 
first week of the year, was one hundred and seventy-nine; in 
1845, three thousand nine hundred and seven; and, in 1S52, 
five thousand eight hundred and forty-eight. In 183S, there 
were seven schools, each with one department and one teacher. 
In 1845, there were fifteen schools, each organized with two 
departments, employing fifteen male and thirty-seven female 
teachers, fifty-two in all. In 1852, there were seventeen male, 
and nineteen principal female teachers, and fifty-eight female 
assistants, making ninety-four in all. 

The expense of teachers' wages, including the state money, 

In 1S3S, S 7,Sj9 S3. 

In 1S45, 1 1. 77 1 50. 

In 1S52 27,17s S9. 

This last seemed a heavy and burdensome tax for free 
schools, vet the constantly increasing attendance, and general 
popularity of the schools, has caused a constant increase t f 
expense; and in 1857-8, the amount paid for teachers' wages, 
reached nearly ninety thousand dollars, while the total valu- 
ation of school property, paid for by local taxation, amounted 
to about three hundred thousand (Jollars; being greater than 
the total valuation of the real and personal property of the 
whole village in 1S18. 

I have thus given a rapid and perhaps desultOTy histor) v i 


the district and public schools of the old village and present 
city, up to the year 1852. It is, necessarily, imperfect in the 
earlier details. The records are not to be found, and much of 
the information obtained is traditional. From many of our 
old residents, I have obtained valuable information, but, in the 
lapse of time, memory is not always reliable in regard to dates 
or localities. The purpose of this paper is mainly historical, 
and it is not necessary to discuss the merits of our school 
system, or of education generally. In its organization and 
progress to the present time, errors have undoubtedly been com- 
mitted; and, at times, the burden of taxation has borne heavily 
upon our people, but it has been met with cheerfulness, and 
when in has borne the hardest, seemingly too heavy for our 
resources, not a voice has been raised to destroy or materially 
change the system itself. A moderate reduction of current ex- 
penses has always satisfied the public mind. 

No city has attained a higher position as a supporter of free 
schools, than our own. In my annual report for 1S45, I took 
occasion to make the following statement: 

" I think I am not mistaken in claiming for the city of Buffalo the honor 
of being the first city in the state to establish free schools, the support of 
which is based upon taxation upon the property of the city, ana the control 
and direction of which forms part of the municipal government. Free 
schools, it is true, have been in existence in the city of New York for a long 
period, but they have been supported by private benevolence, rendered 
through the medium of the Public School Society, which was established under 
the auspices of DeWitt Clinton, when mayor of the city, in 1S05. All the 
free schools were under die .control of thi^ society until the passage of the 
new school law of 1S42. When the New York state common school system 
was established, this society was recognized by law a> the disbursing agent 
of the state school money for the city of New York. But no city, before our 
own, recognized the broad principle of universal education, based upon the 
property of the city, and forming pari of its organic law, although several 
Others have since followed our example." ' ^ 

It remains for us to keep tip the reputation of our city. Our 
schools are successfully established; the expenditures for public 


buildings, »xx., are made to an extent which will require little 
further expenditure for many years. Our teachers are men 
and women who have adopted the calling as a profession, and 
who cannot be excelled in any of the requisites for teachers of 
the young. The schools should be conducted with a steady 
and reliable policy, affording to the children of the city ample 
means for obtaining a sufficient English education; but should 
not be forced beyond what will fully meet this end. Let the 
public sustain the schools in every reasonable requirement, and 
they will certainly justify the confidence placed in them. But 
should the public fail in its duty in this respect, retrogression 
will assuredly follow. It is education that makes us what we 
are, and let it be our first duty to make that education such as 
will develope to their highest capabilities the faculties which 
have been bestowed upon us by the great Author of our being.. 



The reminiscences, whether written or verbal, of those who 
were residents of Buffalo before the war of 1812, contain fre- 
quent mention of the "little red school house," which stood on 
the northwest corner of Cayuga (now Pearl) and Swan streets, 
and which was burned with the rest of the village, in Decem- 
ber, 1 81 3. . Though schools were taught, temporarily, in other 
buildings, this was, as far as can be learned, the only actual 
school house, the only temple dedicated exclusively to educa- 
tion in Buffalo, before the war. 

Its history is interesting, not only on account of its being the 
first building of its kind in what is now a great city, but because 
it became the subject of a somewhat famous controversy in the 
courts, which was not terminated till twenty-five years after 
the structure itself had ceased to exist. A succinct account of 
that contest is given by Oliver G. Steele, Esq., in a paper read 
by him before the Buffalo Historical Society, in the year 1863.! 

The time and manner of building the structure in question, 
as well as the names of contributors thereto, have heretofore 
been a matter of doubtful tradition. As early as iSoi, the few 
citizens then residing in Buffalo, began to manifest a desire for 
a school; and, on the eleventh dav of August, in that year. Mr. 

* From the Buffalo Gwiwrciai Atlrvrftw, November ( th 
1' Sec 7Y,v Buffalo Com won S\ Hools, p. yto. 


Joseph R. Palmer, brother of John Palmer, the first tavern- 
keeper in Buffalo, wrote to Joseph Ellicott, the Holland Com- 
pany's agent at Batavia, requesting, on the part of the inhabi- 
tants, the privilege of raising a school house on some lot in the 
village which was not yet surveyed for sale. Mr. Palmer states, 
that the New York Missionary Society will furnish a teacher, 
clear of all expense, except board, and that the people "have 
the timber ready to hew out." 

This request was at once acceded to by Mr. Ellicott, whose 
journal shows the following entry, dated August 14th, 1S01: 

"Went to Buffalo, alias New Amsterdam, to lay off a lot for a school 
house, the inhabitants offering to erect one at their own expense." 

Erom this, Mr. Ketchum, in his History of Buffalo and the 

Senegas, infers, that the house was probably built in 1802 or 

1803, by subscription. Mr. Steele, in the essay above referred 

to, judging from verbal information, fixes the time of erection 

at about 1806, and adds: 

"The school house, as near as I can ascertain, was built by private sub- 
scription, or, as it -\vas then termed, a " Bee," or contribution of labor and 
materials by the settlers. Among the names I have mentioned as contribu- 
tors, are those of Samuel Pratt (father of Mrs. Esther Pratt Fox, and grand- 
father of Samuel F. Pratt), Doctor Cyrenius Chaphi, Gamaliel St. John, 
Joseph Landon and Z'enas Barker." 

Those who feel an interest in the earl)' history of Buffalo, 
will be gratified to learn, that there is now in existence, among 
the miscellaneous papers of the Historical Society, a document 
giving an authentic account of the beginning of school house 
building in the city of Buffalo. This is nothing less than the 
original account-book, containing the subscriptions and pay- 
ments toward building the "little red school house," of historic 

It is only a memorandum-book of coarse paper, with probably 
the roughest brown pasteboard cover ever seen on a bock: yet 
it is extremely interesting, not only as giving an authentic 
account of the erection of the first school house in the city, and 
as showing the names of a large proportion of the inhabitants 


of the then infant village, but also because it is one of the very 
few documents relating to local history which survived the 
burning of the village in 1S13. With the solitary exception of 
the town-book of the town of Erie from 1S05 to 1808, the ac- 
count-book is the most valuable article to the student of local 
history in the whole collection of the Buffalo Historical Society. 
The following is a literal copy of the first page: 

" At a meeting of the Inhabitauce of the Vilage of Buffaloe meet on the 
twenty-ninth day of March Eighteen hundred & seven at Joseph Landon's 
Inn by a Vote of Sd meeting Zenas Barker in the Chair fur the purpos to 
arect a. School Hous in Sd \ 'illage by a Subscription of the Inhabitant. 

"also Voted that Samuel Pratt, Joseph Landon & Joshua Gillett be a 
Committee to See that they are appropriated on the School House above 
mentiond which Subscriptions are to be paid in by the first day of June next 
or Such part of it as Shall be wanted by that time." 

And the following is a list of the subscribers, and the amount 
subscribed by each: 

Salvanus Mabee $ 20.00 

Zenas Barker 10.00 

Thomas Fourth 3.00 

Joshua Gillett -.'... 15.00 

Joseph Wells. 7.00 

John Johnson 10.00 

Nathaniel \Y. Sever .' 10.00 

Isaac II. Bennett 3. 00 

Levi Strong 5.00 

William Hull 10.00 

Samuel Pratt. ... 22.00 

Richard Mann 5.00 

Isabel Adkins. s.oo 

Samuel Andrews 1.00 

Garret Freeland 1.00 

Billa Sherman S7 r ^ 

All the subscriptions were dated March 30th, 1807, the day 
after the meeting. Each man's name was placed on a page of 
the book and charged with the amount subscribed, and then 
credited withthe amount paid, either by cash, labor or material. 

The carpenter work appears to have been all done by Levi 
Strong and George Kith, whose accounts are also in the book. 
Their bills for work amounted to sixty-eight dollars and fifty 
cents. The credits for work and material \ven*mostly in April, 
1807, showing that the building was started immediately after 
the subscription. 


From the fact that Joshua Gillett is credited with two and 
a quarter gallons of whisky on the thirteenth of April, I should 
presume that " raising" took place on that day. But the funds 
or credit must have been low, and Buffalo must have remained 
without a school house, for a year and a half more; for it was 
not until the tenth of November, 1808, eight months after Buf- 
falo had become the county seat of Xiagara county, that the 
shingles were procured for the school house, when two thousand 
were furnished by Samuel Pratt. 

The building was doubtless finished up for use that winter 
(1S0S-9), for, on the twenty-third day of May, 1800, there was 
a general setting up, and the last entries of small cash payments 
are made in the book. 

Most of the subscribers, including Pratt, Mabee, Landon, 
Barker, Gillett, and Wells/paid up in full, but some appear to 
have failed in part, and a few entirely. 

The book was presented to the Historical Society in 1866, 
by Joshua Gillet, of Wyoming county, whom I presume to 
have been a son of the Joshua Gillet who was one of the com- 
mittee to raise funds and superintend the building. It was 
probably lying in a trunk, in 18 13, and was carried out of town, 
and thus escaped the destruction which involved so many doc- 
uments of that era. 

The queerest part of the whole matter is, that Doctor Chapin. 
who carried on a suit for over fifteen years, on the ground that 
he was one of the chief proprietors, doesn't appear as a sub- 
scriber at all. Perhaps there may be some explanation of 
this circum>tance, but the accounts seem to be very full and 

The total amount of subscription paid, was one hundred and 
one dollars. The commissioners allowed five hundred dollars 
to pay for it! 

Such is the authentic history of the building of the "little red 
school house," the only one in Buffalo before the war of 1812.